(CTN News) – On Wednesday, an upgrade to the infrastructure supporting ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, will make available more than $30 billion in ether to investors.
The latest addition to the Ethereum blockchain, Shapella, will allow investors to withdraw an offshoot of ether tokens they invested on the blockchain network in exchange for interest over the past three years.
According to data firm Dune Analytics, these so-called “staked ether” tokens are valued at roughly $31 billion and make up about 15% of all ether tokens.
According to a tweet by Tim Beiko of the Ethereum Foundation, the organization that speaks for the Ethereum network, the upgrade is scheduled at approximately 2230 GMT.
It’s happening 🎊
Shapella is scheduled on mainnet for epoch 194048, scheduled for 22:27:35 UTC on Apr. 12, 2023 📆
Client releases compatible with the upgrade are listed in the announcement below 👇https://t.co/I0hSv9lnjz
— timbeiko.eth ☀️ (@TimBeiko) March 28, 2023
Investors have projected that the modifications will increase ether’s volatility.
There is concern that large redemptions may trigger a selling frenzy, dragging down the price of ether, the second most valuable cryptocurrency behind bitcoin (at roughly $230 billion).
Analysts at Deutsche Bank warned that the market might see “significant downward price pressure” if the investment was sold immediately after being released.
In its most recent major update, released in September, Ethereum significantly decreased its energy usage, which supporters argued would give Ethereum an edge in its pursuit to overtake Bitcoin.
While bitcoin has increased by over 80% this year, ether has only slightly under 60%.
After losing trillions of dollars in 2022, the cryptocurrency market has rebounded this year, hoping that central banks will let off raising interest rates.
Ethereum’s popularity has increased in so-called decentralized finance applications, which provide banking services without relying on centralized institutions like banks.
However, its use in conventional business and finance remains low.
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