The merge is fast approaching! Vitalik Buterin has claimed that by August Ethereum, the world’s second largest blockchain by market cap, could fully complete its shift to proof-of-stake (PoS).

Until then Ethereum’s devnets and testnets are helping to pave the way for a smooth and successful transition. After several shadow-forks, the first public testnet, Ropsten, will run the merge around June 8th, 2022.

In the meantime, the so-called “Difficulty Bomb” is still ticking and making time between blocks continuously longer. This might still require a small hard-fork to push it back 2-3 months until all merge preparations are finished, but current planning would avoid that by merging Ethereum Mainnet in August.

We’ll keep you updated in this newsletter!

 

Blog: A Closer Look at Ethereum’s Strength & Stability

Ethereum’s network remains remarkably strong and stable, despite crypto market volatility and macroeconomic headwinds. Only Bitcoin has proven to be as robust of a blockchain.

However, Bitcoin doesn’t offer token holders the opportunity to earn yield at a protocol level. In December 2020, the Beacon Chain introduced staking to the Ethereum community, allowing ETH holders to earn yield on their investment. The network has grown from ~27k validators upon Beacon Chain launch in 2020, to almost 400k validators as of May 2022.

In this blog post we explore the reasons why Ethereum remains stalwart to both its users and the wider crypto community, despite market turbulence.

 

Challenges of Liquid Staking for Institutional Investors

The key problems with traditional staking are the inability for immediate withdrawal and a fixed APY based on the ecosystem. Existing liquid staking solutions on Ethereum (like e.g. LIDO or RocketPool) solve these issues, but are not built for institutions – the ecosystems have no KYC and they cannot support large-volume liquidation events, for example.

Blockdaemon has significant experience providing staking products to large institutional clients. So we have partnered with StakeWise to offer a market leading solution with their unique dual token model. This new smart contract protocol, called Harbour, is the first liquid staking product in the market that is built specifically for institutions. By providing a staking solution with instant liquidity that features KYC/AML compliance tools and security controls, Harbour opens the door for institutions to participate in the growing crypto yield market.

To be an early participant please click here. We are accepting full delegation beginning June 6th.

 

The importance of client diversity to reduce risks

Blockdaemon is actively working on improving client diversity in the Ethereum ecosystem. So it was a pleasure to talk about “Client Diversity – Financial Risk Scenarios” at the EthStaker gathering in sunny Amsterdam during the conference marathon of DevConnect. See slides, modelling sheet & video for the details. Main takeaway: there has been progress, but there is still a long way to go!

 

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