• Following the launch of EIP-1559, the next key upgrade adds features to the beacon chain before the merge.
  • The Altair beacon chain may be the only upgrade to the Ethereum network before transitioning from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake.
  • Despite the drop in prices of most DeFi tokens, TVL crossed $100 billion last week.
  • The launch of "shard chains" is likely to power fast transactions by creating 64 parallel blockchains.

Ethereum's upcoming Altair upgrade will add features to the network's beacon chain. Experts consider this a key and probable final addition to the network before "The Merge."

Ethereum prepares for migration to proof-of-stake, Altair upgrade launches this week

Ethereum's London hard fork brought EIP-1559 into existence. The Altair upgrade scheduled to occur this week on October 27 will make upgrades to the beacon chain (the staking chain of ETH2). 

Staking is key to Ethereum's Triple Halving narrative. Staking and the fee-burning mechanism together fuel the shortage that drives ETH prices higher. The Triple Halving relies on ETH consistently being pulled out of circulation due to staking and burn. 

The Ethereum blog announced the upgrade in a recent blog post. The update reads:

The Altair beacon chain upgrade is ready to be activated on the Ethereum mainnet. The upgrade will go live at epoch 74240 (October 27, 2021, 10:56:23 am UTC).

The beacon chain upgrade does not affect Ethereum users or holders directly. It purely affects the consensus mechanism and node operators.

With the rising price of Ethereum, several DeFi tokens have plunged. Despite a drop in prices, DeFi TVL continues its upward climb. The total value locked in Defi protocols crossed $233.8 billion last week. 

According to crypto data aggregator Dune Analytics, over 3.59 million unique wallets have interacted with at least one DeFi protocol. 

Total DeFi users over time

Total DeFi users over time. 

Analysts on crypto Twitter are arguing the case of the multichain crypto universe where Ethereum becomes less relevant, while DeFi tokens and L2 solutions become mainstream. In contrast, the author of the "Ethereum Triple Halving" narrative debates the validity of extrapolating trends and assuming multichain is obvious. 

In addition to preparing the Ethereum network for "The Merge," the beacon chain upgrade focuses on preparation for "sharding." The launch of 64 parallel blockchains, "shard chains," is expected to reduce congestion on the Ethereum network. 

Analysts have a bullish outlook on ETH price with the upcoming upgrade and statement issued by a former Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) official. According to the statement, the approval of an Ethereum ETF by the SEC is likely. 

FXStreet analysts have evaluated the ETH price trend and predicted that the altcoin would hit a new all-time high in the near future. 


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