Ethereum (ETH) dropped 6.78% over the past 24 hours, falling below $1,600.
The second-largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $192.73 billion is now changing hands at around $1,575 apiece.
The current trading price is 67% down from its all-time high of $4,891 recorded in November 2021, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Ethereum's bearish price movement may be attributed to growing concerns regarding the future of Ethereum and its miners following the merge. The event is expected to occur in September.
“There are a lot of potential risks with ETH merge,” tweeted Evgeny Gaevoy, CEO of Wintermute. “The fact that people have been working on it for years doesn't mean it will work out perfectly.”
Currently, Ethereum leverages the same consensus model as Bitcoin, which requires so-called miners to run non-stop in order to verify transactions and maintain the network’s security. The merge event will shift from this consensus model to an arguably greener version called proof-of-stake.
The change also means that miners will no longer maintain the network, but validators. Instead of purchasing farms of machines to validate transactions, users can stake 32 Ethereum to become a validator on the upgraded network. Validators earn a yield for their work, but can also lose money if they behave fraudulently.
It’s this outdating of miners that has some mining groups making moves.
Antpool, the cryptocurrency mining platform backed by hardware manufacturer Bitmain has invested $10 million in Ethereum Classic, the “Original Ethereum,” to protect their business interest following the merge.
Prominent Chinese crypto miner Chandler Guo has outlined a plan for forking the current Ethereum to continue operating as a proof-of-work blockchain.
Bitcoin slides alongside Ethereum
Following Ethereum, the leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC), is trading on the bearish side, losing 2.46% of its value over the past 24 hours.
Bitcoin trades for around $22,767, down 66.73% from its all-time highs of $68,789 recorded in November 2021, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
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