- Ethereum's in-house coin -- ETH -- was up 6% to as high as $1,806.89 during the past 24 hours and 9% over the past week, according to CoinMarketCap. The ETH coin hasn't been higher than $1,800 in nearly a month.
- The most likely driver of price action is remarks made today by Ethereum co-founder Vitalek Buterin at a digital asset conference in Korea during his keynote address.
- Buterin told attendees that the pending Ethereum Merge will likely bring crypto payments into the mainstream, drive fees below half a penny, and revolutionize the crypto space.
ETH co-founder Vitalek Buterin spoke at a blockchain meeting in Korea today, predicting the Ethereum Merge will transform crypto payments and the entire digital asset class.
During his keynote speech at a blockchain conference in Korea on Monday, Ethereum co-founder Vitalek Buterin told attendees that the Ethereum Merge will drive transaction fees below half a cent, spur adoption of crypto payments, enable processing of 100,000 transactions per second, and transform the crypto industry as a whole.
"Once we have scaling technology, it actually becomes possible to really try to make crypto payments mainstream again. In the future, with rollups, with all of the improvements to efficiency, the transaction costs could go down to US $0.05 or even be as low as 0.2 cents," said Buterin during his speech.
The price of Ethereum (ETH) was up more than 6% over the past 24 hours to a peak price of $1,806.89 on the news across cryptocurrency exchanges according to CoinMarketCap. Buterin's optimistic prediction for the entire crypto asset class seems to have pushed the sector higher by more than 3% overall, with Bitcoin crossing the $24,000 threshold and the broader crypto market moving to a $1.14 trillion valuation.
Buterin says the Merge is just the start for Ethereum upgrades
Last month, Ethereum developers announced that they have a tentative date of Sept. 19 for the full rollout of the Ethereum Merge. For the past several years, Ethereum programmers have been working to shift the blockchain from its energy-hungry proof-of-work (PoW) consensus method to the proof-of-stake (PoS) model which uses less electricity to validate transactions. It's been widely promoted that once the Merge is fully operational, network users will see lower fees and less blockchain congestion with more throughput at faster speeds.
Buterin reiterated those benefits during his keynote, but he also stated that the Merge is just the first of five planned upgrades. Specifically, the Ethereum co-founder listed the slate of lyrically-named enhancements to the Merge as the Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge upgrades. He said that these advances are purpose-built to exploit potential opportunities and protect the Ethereum blockchain against future quantum computing attacks and hackers.
Is now the time to buy Ethereum?
This is not financial advice, and every investor should always make every effort to conduct their own research and risk assessment, however, the fact that Ethereum developers are planning to protect against the threat of quantum computing infiltrations is very encouraging. The asset is priced at a 63% discount from its all-time high and it's unlikely to stay below $2,000 per coin much longer.
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