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Ethereum miners are hoarding a record $70B in ETH following EIP-1559 activation

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An on-chain study released by Kraken Intelligence highlights strong accumulation behavior among Ethereum miners even as they faced the prospects of generating lower revenue following a major network upgrade on Aug. 5.

Ethereum miners accumulated an additional 2 million Ether (ETH), worth $6.1 billion, after the so-called London hard fork’s activation. The latest bout of accumulation caused miners’ net Ether holdings to hit an all-time high of 22.3 million ETH (worth nearly $70 billion), which is almost 19% of the total Ether supply.

“ETH accumulation was stagnant for most of the summer before picking up speed in July in spite of ETH price trending lower,” the Kraken report reads.

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“However, ETH accumulation amongst miners really took off after EIP-1559 as they likely saw the disinflationary effects of the upgrade to drive up price.”

Ethereum miner supply. Source: Kraken Intelligence, Coin Metrics

Miners snub EIP-1559 FUD

EIP-1559, which went live alongside the London hard fork on Aug. 5, divided transaction fees (chargeable via Ethereum’s native token, ETH) into two parts: the base fee and priority fee.

The network started charging base fees to add transactions to Ethereum blocks. Meanwhile, it introduced priority fees — or voluntary tips — that Ethereum users pay to miners to speed up transactions.

But EIP-1559 changed the way Ethereum’s token economy works by introducing a fee-burning mechanism. In doing so, the improvement proposal initiated the burning of the base fee, thereby making ETH a deflationary asset by permanently removing a part of its supply from circulation.

Burning a portion of total fee collection also means a drop in revenue for Ethereum miners. As a result, EIP-1559’s launch sparked warnings about lower mining profitability, with one study finding that miners’ revenue dropped by 15% right after EIP-1559 went live.

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But that didn’t deter the miners from raising their Ethereum exposure, with Ethereum’s hash rate reaching a record high of 736.67 terahashes per second (TH/s) on Sept. 23.

Ethereum network hash rate performance in the last 12 months. Source: YCharts

That is despite a drop in Ethereum mining activity following China’s crypto crackdown in May, which later led the hash rate to a three-month low of 477.54 TH/s. Kraken wrote:

“This tells us that not only was the reaction to the China crackdown exaggerated, but miners also view the latest upgrade as an overall boon for ETH that outweighed the con of its miner reward reduction.”

NFT boom and staking sentiment behind the mining boom

Ethereum miners survived the EIP-1559 FUD primarily due to rising ETH prices and high network demand led by a boom in the nonfungible token (NFT) space.

Kraken noted that miner revenue reached a near four-month high of $70 million on Sept. 7, rising 27% in a month after the Aug. 5 upgrade as “NFT activity in projects such as PALS, Loot, and Junkies likely pushed priority fees higher.”

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Ethereum miner revenue. Source: Kraken Intelligence, Coin Metrics

But a recent slump in the NFT sector — led by strong corrections in the number of its daily active users (-23%), trading volume (-83%) and transaction count (-31%) — also pushed miner revenue down.

Nonetheless, the amount of ETH held by miners surged to its highest level to date, prompting Kraken to deduce that they are accumulating and mining Ether tokens to become validators on the upcoming Ethereum proof-of-stake chain, dubbed Ethereum 2.0.

Users need to stake 32 ETH into Ethereum 2.0 smart contracts to become validators on its network. In return, they may earn up to a 5% annual percentage rate. As of Sept. 29, Eth 2.0 has attracted 7.813 million ETH, worth $2.85 billion, from 48,780 unique depositors, as per data provided by CryptoQuant.

Meanwhile, as more Ether tokens go out of active supply due to staking and EIP-1559 activation, the prospect of holding ETH might appear profitable for miners due to classic supply and demand models. 

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Ether was trading at $3,006 at the time of writing, up more than 300% year-to-date.

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Bitcoin

Rich Dad Poor Dad Author Issues Dire Warning on Inflation, Says He’s Buying Bitcoin, Ethereum and Two Additional Assets

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Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki is concerned that working-class Americans will be wiped out by rising inflation unless they invest in several key assets.

In a YouTube video on The Rich Dad Channel, the widely known author says that true capitalism has been abandoned, and the government instead intervenes on behalf of banks.

“The reason they’re talking about inflation or deflation is because, way back when, in the 70s, a true capitalist would let a business fail. According to [Austrian political economist Joseph] Schumpeter, capitalism destroys inefficient companies.

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If you look at one example, not too long ago there was Blockbuster Video. Then Netflix came along and they’re toast. They’re just gone. A true capitalist wipes out the inefficient or the obsolete.

But for the last so many years, since 1907 really, they’ve been saving the banks. The banks are so corrupt, and the reason the Federal Reserve had to come in was to protect the rich bankers.

And what they did was, back in 2008 there was quantitative easing, which is a very complex subject, but basically the Fed just prints money and gives it to banks to prevent them from failing. That’s not capitalism, that’s Marxism. That’s socialism, that’s communism. It’s called central banks.”

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Kiyosaki warns that unlimited money printing as part of official government policy will eliminate the working class.

“The reason inflation is going to wipe out people is because the average person is a consumer. Everybody talks about, ‘T-bone steak [costs] this now, and gasoline’s this and toilet paper is that.’

That’s because… Everything’s to protect the bankers. And that’s why I feel for the working-class people. I think it’s criminal that our school system is part of Marxism. There’s no financial education in the schools and it’s not a mistake.

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To the people who are complaining about inflation, just know it’s because the Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. Treasury… they’re as corrupt as they come.”

The author tells his 1.8 million followers on Twitter that the recent 25% price increase at discount retail chain Dollar General is a bellwether event signaling that investors should protect themselves by picking up some cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), as well as gold and silver.

“Dollar Tree becomes $1.25 Tree. Inflation is a tax on the poor and middle class. Inflation makes the rich richer.

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Get smart. Get richer. I am buying more gold, silver, Bitcoin, Ethereum, rental real estate, and oil. What are you buying?”

CNN Business reported this week that Dollar Tree cited rising inflation and the ongoing supply chain crisis as reasons why it planned to permanently abandon its longstanding $1 price point on all products.

At time of writing, Bitcoin is valued at $55,190, Ethereum is exchanging hands for $4,367, gold is going for $1,781, and silver is worth $22.44. Kiyosaki also issued a warning in September that a major stock market crash would occur in October of this year.

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Ethereum

Ethereum is a better store of value than Bitcoin, academic research shows

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  • Recent research conducted by four Australian researchers concludes that Ethereum is a better store of value than Bitcoin.
  • “Ethereum provides better inflationary hedging properties than Bitcoin, and Ether may therefore offer superior long-term value storage than Bitcoin, ” said the report.

Ethereum, the second-largest crypto by market cap, has been tipped by several experts including billionaire investor Mark Cuban, as second to none in terms of utility. Its smart contract has been used to power several blockchain-based projects like Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). But in terms of a store of value, there has been a divided opinion among experts as Bitcoin is largely viewed as a better alternative to Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.

Recent research conducted by four Australian researchers concludes that Ethereum is a better store of value than Bitcoin. According to the research paper, the recent EIP-1559 upgrade in August has been the reason for this conclusion. The EIP-1559 upgrade saw over one million ETH out of the 118,583,580 circulating supply burnt, and a portion of its transaction fees burnt as well.

The report stated: 

Annualizing the rate of Ethereum creation since EIP-1559, the expected increase in the total Ethereum supply is only 0.98%, being less than half the 1.99% increase in Bitcoin supply which is almost certain in the same period.

Roughly 50 percent of the transaction fees of the 12,000 newly minted ETH per day were burnt according to the report. It was further stated that more ETH will be burnt as its robust ecosystem of decentralized finance sees increased demand. 

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If Bitcoin is “sound money”, Ethereum is ” Ultra-sound money”

The rampant money printing linked to the COVID-19 pandemic has recently led to higher inflation rising to 6.2 percent in the US by October. Bitcoin has during this period seen higher interest among institutional investors as it is believed to be a perfect hedge against inflation. However, the research states that ETH has a better store of value, and institutions are beginning to choose digital asset for this purpose.  

Ethereum provides better inflationary hedging properties than Bitcoin, and Ether may therefore offer a superior long-term value storage than Bitcoin.

According to Shark Tank investor and now an ambassador for FTX exchange Kevin O’Leary, if Bitcoin is considered as a “Sound Money”, then Ethereum is “UltraSound Money”. 

If Bitcoin is sound money because of the 21 million coin supply ceiling, Ethereum enjoys the same benefit now. It’s ultra sound money because there’s no supply floor […]. Ethereum will be thought of like a traditional business and can be analyzed like one, sort of like using a cash flow model

Nikhil Shamapant, an independent ETH analyst, trader and medical doctor from New York City. He believes that ETH will be inflationary as it will spend most of its movement in the medium term in the inflationary environment. 

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Ethereum

Ethereum Breaks New Record Amid 13% Rally, Options OI Reaches $7 Billion

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Ethereum breaks another market prior to end-of-year rally

Ethereum options hit a new all-time high as Ethereum continues to move in the local bullish rally started at the end of November, Wu Blockchain reports.

Contracts open interest spikes

Ethereum options currently remain at the historical peak in open interest that is currently staying at $7 billion. On Dec. 31, almost 700,000 options are going to be delivered with a “bullish” Put/Call ratio of 0.47. The approximate max pain price is $2,500 for the currently open Ethereum contract with expiry on Dec. 31.

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Increased options open interest closer to the end of the year is not something new for Ethereum. Ethereum open interest usually spikes near the end of the year as volatility on the cryptocurrency market increases and traders tend to hedge their positions.

What does high open interest tell traders?

Usually, options are utilized as a reflection of current market conditions. Since Ethereum is moving in both short and long-term bullish trends, call (buy) options are prevailing on the market with the majority of traders betting on the asset’s price spike to $5,000.

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But while some traders may use options for speculative trading, others utilize them for hedging their positions. By opening put options on values like $4,300, traders hedge their positions in cases of unexpected market volatility.

Ethereum’s previous ATH currently remains at $4,880, and more analysts are expecting the second-largest cryptocurrency on the market to reach the long-awaited milestone by the end of the year when most altcoins have historically reached new highs.

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