Positive momentum is building up for the upcoming upgrade to Ethereum, a decentralized blockchain with smart contract functionality, a survey by OKX, a Seychelles-based cryptocurrency exchange, has identified.
The two-part Shanghai-Capella event, which has been dubbed the ‘Shapella’ upgrade, is now scheduled for April 12. The upgrade is expected to enable users on Ethereum to withdraw their staked ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the platform.
The upgrade comes eight months after the Ethereum Merge, which was a hard fork of the blockchain that switched the platform’s consensus mechanism from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake (PoS) system. However, investors have been participating in ETH staking on Beacon Chain since December 2020. The Beacon Chain, which is a PoS blockchain launched on Ethereum, was later merged with the Ethereum Mainnet in September last year.
The expected Shapella upgrade, which was initially scheduled for last month, means that investors will be able to finally withdraw their staked ETH. And, OKX’s survey found that the majority (83%) of the Ethereum community expects that more ETH will be staked in the next three months, suggesting a positive perception or acceptance of the development.
$5K+ for ETH by End of 2023
OKX’s findings are based on a survey of 700 ETH traders, investors and network developers between March 1-5, 2023, at the ETH Denver Conference.
CoinMarketCap’s latest data shows that the price of ETH as of April 7, 2023, stood at over $1,850, rising from a little over $1,800 seven days ago. However, the majority (63%) of respondents in OKX’s survey expect ETH to peak at over USD$5,000 by year-end.
Furthermore, another majority (79%) expects the price of ETH to react differently to the Shapella upgrade than it did to the Merge. From this majority, 59% believe the price of ETH will keep increasing before and after the upgrade. On the other hand, under a quarter (20%) of them expects the ETH price to move sideways.
“Thirty-three percent of respondents think ETH will be over its current six-month high of USD2,000 in June 2023, but still below its 12-month high of USD3,000. [Another] 34% of those surveyed predict ETH at below $2,000, while 33% believe it will be at least $3,100 by June 2023,” OKX explained.
Crypto Actors Prepare for ‘Shapella’
According to OKX, a total of 17.9 million has been staked on Ethereum as of April 5, 2023. This amounts to over USD$34 billion in ETH.
Already, digital assets companies have been preparing for the opportunities that the Shapella upgrade could avail. In late March, cryptocurrency exchange Bybit launched its new ‘optimized’ Web3 Staking Pool to give its users access to its ‘uncomplicated ETH staking options’.
Additionally, ConsenSys, an Ethereum and decentralized protocols software company, launched the first marketplace for institutional cryptocurrency staking. The software firm believes that the Shapella upgrade can help boost institutional participation in ETH staking.