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digital daily: Shapella

Shapella: Ethereum’s latest upgrades will be finalized today, exceptionally covered by maturing crypto asset research. The Shanghai “hard fork,” a permanent change to the network, will improve the efficiency of the execution layer. The consensus layer, the process that defines how transactions are validated, will allow staked assets to be liquid through an upgrade called Capella. Engineers are rewarded for the event being a non-event from a technical perspective. But they can’t be held accountable for market volatility. Capella unlocks liquidity for ETH assets and potential portfolio rebalancing. Two statistics are notable. First, rewards will be liquid for the first time since staking started in 2020. That is roughly 1.2 million ether available for sale. Second, there is another 128k ETH in inactive validators who will exit the network. Total available sales of ether combined to ~$2.5 billion, substantial in relation to trading volume. It is also a one-off, and only a fraction will be sold. Separately, validators can now leave the network with a full withdrawal of 32 ether. But there’s a regulated speed limit to this process. Today, that math translates to a 1% full withdrawal of ETH validators taking three days to clear the exit cue. That’s around $340 million at current prices, an inconsequential volume. So, what’s next? Scale. Ethereum maintained its leadership position through unprecedented upgrades. Revenues totaled $1.7 billion in the past year, larger than the next twenty chains combined. The fastest-growing customers to Ethereum? Layer-two scaling solutions are more than 6% of Ethereum’s revenues from nothing two years ago. Scale brings applications – that’s the thundering herd on the horizon.