Crypto exchanges announce preparatory steps ahead of the Ethereum Merge

    28 Aug 2022

    Crypto firms and exchanges dealing in ETH have made announcements informing clients of any preparations needed ahead of the Merge, from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus. While crypto whales are moving their ETH funds to exchanges as the shift approaches.

    Crypto exchange Binance has announced preparatory steps for the Ethereum Merge – expected to take place between September 10 and September 20 – in a bid to protect user funds and lower trading risks from price volatility.

    The steps include a suspension of deposits and withdrawals for Ether and ERC-20 tokens, first at 11:00am UTC on September 6 and again at midnight UTC on September 15.

    Borrowing of Ether, along with deposits and withdrawals for Binance’s tokenized asset for staked ether will also be suspended from midnight UTC on September 14 and is estimated to resume at midnight UTC on September 16. However, other services such as spot and margin trading, futures trading, Binance Card, and Binance Pay will not be affected.

    Meanwhile, another major exchange Coinbase says it will “evaluate any potential forks” following Ethereum transitioning to PoS to include forks that could arise.

    On August 25, in an update to a blog post, Coinbase said it would evaluate any potential forks in the Ethereum blockchain on a “case by case basis.” The crypto exchange previously said it planned to “briefly pause” ETH and ERC-20 token deposits and withdrawals during the Merge, expected to occur between September 10 and 20.

    Before, the platform launched an ERC-20 token that will allow customers to use staked ETH while earning rewards, cbETH. Coinbase has also added Nano Ether futures contracts to its derivatives platform on August 22.

    Amid upcoming Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake consensus, crypto whales are moving their ETH funds to exchanges. According to the popular crypto analysis platform, Santiment, the top 10 non-exchange Ethereum addresses have been reducing their holdings while the top exchange addresses grow.

    Data shows that these non-exchange addresses reduced their exposure by approximately 11% over the past three months. It could mean that large entities are preparing to take action depending on how the Merge goes. At the same time, Ethereum appears to be more dominant than Bitcoin in terms of trading volume on quite a few occasions in August.

    Commenting on the matter was a cryptocurrency analyst from the popular research resource CryptoQuant noted:

    “Almost on every day of August, the trading volume (%) of Ethereum was higher than Bitcoin. For example, on August 22, Ethereum represented 40% of the trading volume on exchanges, while Bitcoin represented only 31%. The percentage left is by trading volume on other altcoins.”

    This led the analyst to the conclusion that despite the declining social media chatter about the Merge, “Ethereum is still very popular, and investors are trading the hype.”

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