With less than 24 hours until Ethereum (ETH) undergoes its long-awaited merge, the price of the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is hardly making any noise.
As data from CoinMarketCap shows, ETH is down 0.27% in the last day, trading hands at just over $1,600 at press time.
The asset hit a daily high of $1,626 before dropping to $1,564 in the early hours of Wednesday, as trading volume over the past 24 hours dropped from $23 billion to $20 billion.
Ethereum is still up on the seven-day chart by some 4%, as it prepares for the transition from its current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to the less energy-hungry proof-of-stake (PoS) system.
The merge: what to expect
“There are some misconceptions among the wider public around what kind of benefits the Merge is going to bring,” Henry Elder, Head of DeFi at digital asset management firm Wave Financial, told Decrypt. “It's not going to make Ethereum faster, more scalable and cheaper. It's just Ethereum that goes from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake.”
According to Elder, the biggest benefit of the Merge is “probably, the 99.96% decrease in electricity usage, but for 99.96% of users there's going to be no difference in their experience.”
The subdued trading activity before the merge could be a signal of investors’ cautiousness in the run-up to the event. It also reflects a wider crypto market drop following the release of the latest U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Tuesday, which reflected higher-than-expected inflation figures.
During the merge, most trading platforms will temporarily suspend new deposits and withdrawals on the Ethereum mainnet. America’s largest crypto exchange, Coinbase, will also freeze activity on the Polygon (MATIC) and Optimism chains, as well as for ERC-20 tokens.