Crypto Traders in Wait-and-See Mode in Countdown to Ethereum Merge

Ether was trading around the $1,500 level as the Merge approaches in less than 12 hours. Bitcoin was back below $20,000.

AccessTimeIconSep 14, 2022 at 7:57 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 14, 2024 at 10:49 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Crypto markets appeared to be in suspension on Wednesday as traders awaited the Ethereum blockchain’s historic Merge – the network’s transition to proof-of-stake (PoS) network, expected to take place in about 12 hours.

Bitcoin (BTC) was in a choppy trading range around $20,000 while ether (ETH) changed hands just above $1,500.

Bitcoin price chart shows a choppy trading range between $19,000 and $20,000 on Wednesday. (CoinDesk)
Bitcoin price chart shows a choppy trading range between $19,000 and $20,000 on Wednesday. (CoinDesk)

Stocks and cryptocurrencies sank Tuesday after August’s U.S. consumer price index showed that inflation remains hot. But there hasn't been much follow-through on the downside.

Alex Tapscott, managing director of the digital asset group at alternative investment manager Ninepoint Partners, said bitcoin still looks bright in the long term.

“Bitcoin's simplicity is maybe its biggest drawback because it can't be programmed to do lots of different things, but it's also the greatest asset, in my opinion,” Tapscott told CoinDesk in a video interview. “I think[of bitcoin] as a simple, immutable, highly secure store of value that is completely decentralized and almost impossible to capture by any single force, whether it's a government or company.”

As Ethereum’s Merge approaches, Tapscott said he has a bullish outlook on ether that “has lots of potential but many more risks.”

“I think that the contrast is kind of poetic that this is happening as we move with Ethereum to proof-of-stake, and Bitcoin is simultaneously becoming its most secure ever,” he said.

Ethereum price chart shows a climb in the past seven days. (CoinDesk)
Ethereum price chart shows a climb in the past seven days. (CoinDesk)

ETH rose 2.4% in the past seven days but was down 17% over the past 30 days and remains well off its 30-day high of $1,951.

Crypto market watchers are eyeing the Merge, which is expected to reduce Ethereum's energy consumption by 99%. A Bank of America research report last week said this could attract more institutional investors who were barred from buying tokens that run on blockchains that use the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus system.

“If you're a big company and you're planning on investing millions of dollars in Web3 opportunities, whatever those might be, you want to know that the technology you're building on is going to be consistent over time,” Tapscott said. “Ethereum is clearly the leader of smart contracting platforms through a community-driven effort. And if all of a sudden there's a deluge of big companies [that] are building on this new platform, you might think that seems like a pretty good investment opportunity.”

Oanda Senior Market Analyst Craig Erlam said in a note Wednesday that some suggest the Merge may have contributed to the rebound in ether's price. "That could equally compound the sell-off if it becomes a 'Buy the rumor, sell the fact' event," he said. "Time will tell."

CORRECTION (Sept. 14, 2022 20:45 UTC): Changes price update to ether (ETH) from ethereum classic (ETC).


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Jocelyn Yang

Jocelyn Yang is a markets reporter at CoinDesk. She is a recent graduate of Emerson College's journalism program.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.