The most obvious thing that’s been going on for Ethereum is about the price of its native coin. It has been falling for most of 2018.
Ethereum (ETH) is the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Over the course of 2017, its platform and network literally ballooned into the stratosphere as the ICO boom hit fever pitch. Negative news surrounding fake ICOs has dampened the space.
Other factors like falling Bitcoin prices and regulatory crackdowns have seen the price of ETH plummet with the rest of the market.
One piece of good news though was when a member of the SEC revealed that Ethereum wasn’t going to be classified as a security.
It’s good news for the platform and could be catalysts for further exponential growth should market sentiments begin to head north.
Casper and Sharding merged via beacon chain
Although it remains the most popular platform for dApps, it continues to inch closer to stiffer competition.
That, together with the issues of scalability and fees, has forced the team to explore ways of staying ahead. It’s this that forms the main course of what is going on for Ethereum.
Casper is meant to help move Ethereum from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS). The implementation has been in development for a while now but could be set for unveiling within coming months.
The Casper FFG will make it possible to validate transactions instead of using the more energy consuming PoW utilized by Bitcoin and other altcoins.
It was thought that Casper would precede Sharding, a concept that seeks to improve transaction speed and scalability via smart contracts.
The problem is that the contracts allow for implicit finality via transactions that submit collation headers into it.
These collation headers are then mined on the main Ethereum blockchain.
Prysmatic Labs, the company working with Ethereum on sharding states that:
“the incoming integration of a hybrid Casper PoS system would create a complicated co-existence of two types of validators: namely Casper and sharding validators.”
However, latest developments mean that they could be merged.
The developers are looking to use “a sidechain known as a beacon chain” to link the transactions to the main chain. With Casper and Sharding, Ethereum will be unbeatable at the top.
In the end, Ethereum developers believe that Casper and Sharding will be the way forward for the coin.
It will help improve on platform energy efficiency, increase scalability, and enhance decentralization. And for the investors, it would lead to economic security.
In terms of market value, Ethereum has gradually lost value over the whole of 2018. It currently trades way below its high price year-to-date.
In fact, has lost about 60 percent of its value since hitting above $1,200 in February.
Over the last 24 hours, ETH/USD has dropped by more than 5 percent. The decline increases to 18 percent over the last 7 days.
In the course of June, it has shed about $200 off its value.
At the moment, the market is trying to hold it above $440, with sentiment indicating a bleak short-term outlook.
On June 25, 2018, Ethereum experienced a slight upside and its daily trading volume reached over $4 billion for the first time since May 3rd.
A day later it dropped to $1.3 billion worth of ether traded. The market is in a downtrend again and we could see prices drop even lower.