Merge to the Splurge - Inflation and Inflated Expectations

BINANCE:ETHUSDT   Ethereum / TetherUS
Lots of things happening in finance today. US inflation is at 8.3% (higher than expected with no end in sight), which tanked both crypto and the stock market at the same time. Goes to show that there's still a lot of overlap between the two right now.

Also coming up is the much anticipated "merge" on Ethereum (going to happen some time this week, according to Vitalik), which will finally migrate their chain from proof-of-work over to proof-of-stake. As interest rates start to get hiked further, crypto coins will likely need some sort of staking mechanism to survive - or at least offer some kind of utility beyond marketing hype. Some things to keep in mind:

- The "merge" is not likely to affect ETH's gas prices, since that comes later during the "sharding" phase. Until then, most dApps created on the ETH ecosystem will still largely sit idle/abandoned.

- During recessions, cash is king - and the coins that resemble that the most (projects that are used as currency, rather than speculation) is likely to perform better overall. That means coins that leaned into the "store-of-value" idea (and have oversaturated mind-share) may be in big trouble - which includes Bitcoin, as well.

- Many Web3 "fintech" startups (including some very big ones) operated under the assumption that BTC/ETH was going to go up forever - some already made headlines this year as they imploded on itself after the downturn, but we're likely to see more of them pop up as we get further into the winter as a whole.

- Coins that offer substantial staking rewards (Tezos, Algorand, Cosmos, Solana, TRON, etc.) are outperforming the banks right now by a very large margin, and may be a good position to grow as the banks continue to drag their feet. Holders of coins that were reliant on the "perpetual growth" model in order to offer staking rewards will likely see their rates shrink over time. (If they're desperate enough, it may even go negative. 😨)

- ETH2 coins are, by default, "locked up" for an indeterminate length of time - lots of people signed up to be validators during the December launch in 21' but the legality of it will likely be in question. As the market dips further, many will want to liquidate and there will be more pressure put on the ETH team to do so. (If not, a few class-action suits may be in the pipeline.)

- What happens to the miners after the "merge"? Up until now, ETH was by far, the most reliable and profitable coin to mine, but that will go away, overnight. Some competitors are trying to use the opportunity to fracture the ETH community by offering their own places to mine, but longer-term, PoW's real value lies in their ability to allocate their processing power to "useful" mining. (e.g. Gridcoin, Golem, etc.) We may start to see a shift in favor of those types of projects after miners start to do more research on their own.

Long story short, the projects that were reliant on perpetual fundraising are likely to be out - replaced by projects that have revenue/profits and greater sustainability. The crypto winter may be brutal for some, but the silver lining is that we may finally get to see a crypto ecosystem that prizes utility and sustainability over short-term hype. It's going to be a crazy time either way - good luck, folks.