Coinbase warns of delays for ETH unstaking after Ethereum Merge

Coinbase has warned its users that unstaking requests for ETH on its platform may take weeks or even months to process after the upcoming Ethereum network update in mid-April. The Shapella upgrade will enable stakers to withdraw their ETH holdings after they were locked up during the Ethereum Merge event in September 2022, which transitioned the network from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).

Coinbase anticipates a flood of unstaking requests once the functionality is enabled, but as a channel to pass unstaked ETH to customers once released by the protocol, it has no control over the on-chain processing of requests. Unstaking requests will open to all Coinbase customers at the same time and be queued based on when they are received.

While Coinbase cannot give an exact timeframe for unstaking, it expects considerable wait times due to the time it takes for the Ethereum network to process transactions. In the meantime, Coinbase provides a liquid staking option called “cbETH,” which lets stakers trade ETH while it is still locked up, with the promise of redeemability at a later date.

The Ethereum Merge was a significant milestone for the network’s scalability, transitioning from PoW to PoS to reduce energy consumption and improve transaction processing times. While the Ethereum network remains the leading platform for decentralized applications and smart contracts, ETH stakers have been unable to access their holdings since the Merge. The upcoming Shapella upgrade will finally provide a solution, allowing users to withdraw their staked ETH and stake more without being subject to an indefinite lockup period.

Overall, Coinbase’s warning of potential delays in unstaking ETH highlights the complexities and limitations of on-chain processing. While the Ethereum network continues to evolve and improve, users must be patient and consider alternative options like Coinbase’s cbETH to mitigate the inconvenience of locked-up assets.


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Launch of Ethereum Climate Platform to reduce PoW emissions

The Ethereum community is now moving its effort to rectify the network’s prior proof-of-work (PoW) carbon emissions, which occurred many months after the Ethereum Merge, which was when the network transitioned to the proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus, which is more favourable to the environment.


At the COP 27 climate action event, Web3 firms, leaders from civil society, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change announced the formation of the Ethereum Climate Platform. This platform has the goal of reducing the carbon footprint that has been left by the Ethereum network ever since it was first launched in 2015.


The founding members of the coalition include a number of different organisations, such as Microsoft, Polygon, Aave, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, the Global Blockchain Business Council, Huobi, and Laser Digital. The coalition is being led by the software company ConsenSys and the blockchain firm Allinfra, which focuses on climate change.


The newly established organisation intends to make investments in climate initiatives that have the potential to reduce Ethereum’s historical emissions by making use of Web3 technology, finance methods, and governance protocols.


Joseph Lubin, co-founder of Ethereum and CEO of ConsenSys, said that despite the high bar that was set by the Merge for the prevention of climate change, the climate situation still demands “more radical transformation.” Additionally, Yorke Rhodes III, who was instrumental in the development of blockchain at Microsoft and is one of its co-founders, acknowledged the company’s desire to help. The CEO provided an explanation, saying that the most important aspect of their work together on this project is to “help the Ethereum community in charting an educated way ahead.”


On September 15, 2018, the Ethereum network successfully completed the transition to a PoS consensus, which has been in the works for quite some time. The Ethereum Foundation asserts that the Merge will result in a network that is 99.95% more efficient in terms of energy consumption. This upgrade also has the goal of laying the groundwork for other future scalability options, such as sharding.


The Merge was the first stage in a process that Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin had previously characterised as consisting of a total of five stages. The next phase on the list of improvements is called the Surge, and it comes after the Merge. During the Surge, the network will incorporate sharding, which is a method for improving the blockchain’s capacity to access and store data.


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Zksync 2.0 Goes Live, Promises Lower Gas Fees, Faster Transactions on Ethereum Mainnet

Matter Labs, a blockchain startup building out a sophisticated roll-up product, announced on Friday the launch of ZkSync 2.0, an Ethereum scaling solution, that is set to enable developers to host smart contracts, deploy DeFi protocols, NFTs and other types of applications on Ethereum network.

According to the report, the launch is highly anticipated since the Layer 2 scaling solution uses zero-knowledge technology while remaining natively compatible with Ethereum applications. Such compatibility is what makes ZkSync 2.0 easy and quick for developers to transfer existing Layer 1 smart contracts and apps (applications) from the Ethereum mainnet to Layer 2.0 ZkSync.

Despite the launch, dapps (decentralized applications) will still not be able to build on the zkSync 2.0 platform, the report said.

Matter Labs calls the release a “baby alpha” phase, meaning access will initially be very restricted. For the first month, the ZkSync 2.0 network will operate without any external applications open for use and no external participants will be able to use it. The Matter Labs team explained that the initial phase is only meant for stress testing and security efforts.

After one month, Matter Labs describes the next phase as “fair alpha” as the stage where developers will be able to transfer their apps onto zkSync 2.0 and start building on the network. According to the report, many cryptocurrency projects, including DeFi protocols like Uniswap, among others, have expressed interest in deploying their apps on the zkSync 2.0 network.

Matter Labs said the final phase is expected at the end of the year when the network will be fully open to everyone.

As per the report, ZkSync 2.0 is a Layer 2 scaling solution that offers low gas and fast transactions on the main Ethereum blockchain (Layer 1), without compromising on security. ZkSync 2.0 significantly reduces gas costs without sacrificing security or user control while enabling users to effortlessly move assets (crypto, DeFi, NFTs, and others) between L1 and Layer 2 at any time, without delays.

Matter Labs, the company behind zkSync, has been working on its 2.0 version since 2020. The firm received funding from both the Ethereum Foundation and top-tier investors, such as Union Square Ventures, to do the task.

Matter Labs launched a 1.0 version back in June 2020 and now has launched the zkSync 2.0 network for deployment.

In the recent past, Ethereum Foundation clarified that while the Ethereum Merge upgrade might improve transaction speeds, it won’t lower gas fees. This is because gas fees are a product of network demand relative to the network’s capacity. In other words, the Merge upgrade does not reduce gas fees since gas costs are based on how much the blockchain is used. This is where the use of Layer 2 like zkSync or StarkNet comes in to introduce cheap and fast transactions on the Ethereum network.

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Ethereum PoW Fork Token Price Drops Over 60% A Day after Mainnet Launch

Based on data from CoinMarketCap on Friday, the price of ETHW tokens from Ethereum’s proof-of-work fork has dropped by over 65% since the launch of its mainnet hardfork after the highly-anticipated Ethereum Merge took place on September 15th.

ETHW spiked as high as $60.68 in the early hours of Thursday morning following The Merge. At the time of writing, the tokens were trading at $12.80, a loss of 61% in the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.

The lowest point the price of ETHW exchanged hands was $8.20. The tokens traded at over $42 on Thursday before the Merge but plunged as much as 78% to as low as $8.20 in early European hours Friday.

ETHPoW is a separate Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain, forked from Ethereum’s Merge on September 15. However, its chain suffered technical issues after the launch, which put downward pressure on its ETHW token.

The team behind ETHPoW recognized the issue and fixed the network’s ChainID later on the same day. But several miners appeared to have abandoned the network despite a few major pools continuing to mine the PoW chain.

As a result, the ETHPoW hash rate dropped to 66.64 TH/s on Friday after peaking at 80.56 TH/s earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the hash rates of other PoW alternatives for Ethereum miners like Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ravencoin, and Ergo, have experienced all-time high levels after the merge. After Ethereum’s successful merge, miners started switching their rigs to other blockchains such as the above mentioned.

According to data from crypto mining pool 2miners, the Ravencoin blockchain’s hashrate doubled from 8.29 TH/s to 18.47 THs over the past 24 hours.

Ergo (ERG), another PoW blockchain that supports GPU mining, also saw its hash rate rise over 372% in the last 24 hours from 29.05 TH/s to 157.56 TH/s currently. ERG, the native coin of Ergo, is also up 14.51% to $4.93 over the past 24 hours.

Eric Wall, the Chief Investment Officer at cryptocurrency investment firm Arcane Assets, explained that ETHPoW miners could not sustain the chain at current ETHW prices. He further added: “The daily rewards are 13100 ETH, $354k instead of $20m. There is no way miners can just ‘keep mining’ the ETHPoW chain, no matter how you adjust the difficulty. There simply aren’t enough rewards in the system to pay for the electricity bills.”

The price of ETHW fell in the past 24 hours, likely because users received the new tokens and instantly sold them on the open market. The tokens are listed on several major cryptocurrency exchanges, including FTX, Huobi, and OKX.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Ethereum Classic Hash Rate Surges 200% Ahead of Ethereum Merge

According to data from mining pool 2miners, Ethereum Classic’s hash rate has experienced a 200% growth in the last 30 days, jumping to now at its all-time high of 64 TH/s from 30 TH/s on August 15.

Ethereum Classic has hit an all-time high hash rate of 65.49 terahashes per second (TH/s), having grown more than 40% during September ahead of The Merge.

Hash rate refers to the computational power used to mine a cryptocurrency on a proof-of-work blockchain. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum Classic, and Ether (before the merge) use a proof-of-work system, which requires lots of powerful computers and energy to process transactions.

Today, Ethereum is set to make its long-awaited shift from its proof-of-work consensus to an energy-friendly proof-of-stake blockchain consensus mechanism.

Ethereum’s move to shut down its proof-of-work consensus is set to leave Ether miners with potentially nothing to do. So, miners have announced their intent to migrate to Ethereum Classic, amongst several other proof-of-work blockchains.

These miners plan to mine Ethereum Classic and other compatible coins like Ravencoin. According to 2Miners, mining on Ethereum Classic and others like Ravencoin and Ergo is the “safest post-Merge strategy” at least in the first few days after the Ethereum Merge event.

“Currently, the most profitable coins after Ethereum are Ravencoin, Firo, Cortex, Ergo, Aeternity, Beam, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum Classic, and Callisto,” 2Miners elaborated.

The Merge Getting Ready

The mass migration of crypto miners to Ethereum Classic has been one of the major driving forces pushing its hashrate to reach new highs.

As a result, the Ethereum Classic’s native cryptocurrency (ETC) was also up by 7.53%, trading at $38.12 at the time of writing.

In July, AntPool, a mining pool based in China and owned by Bitmain, signalled support for Ethereum Classic and injected a $10 million investment in the ecosystem. Ethermine, the world’s largest Ether (ETH) mining pool, also announced support for Ethereum Classic.

Ethereum Classic’s algorithm, Ethash is compatible with equipment used for mining Ethereum. Due to this, ETC can be mined using the same GPU and ASIC machines designed for Ethereum mining.

Ethereum is about to change its consensus from proof of work to proof of stake, an update called The Merge. The upgrade is estimated to take place around 4:23 UTC on Thursday, late into the evening of September 15.

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Coinbase Says it Will List Potential Forked Tokens Following Post-Ethereum Merge

As the highly awaited Ethereum “merge” upgrade is approaching, the possibility of a fork is more likely, even if its odds for success are dim.

Recently exchanges, including Coinbase, have announced plans to consider listing forked tokens.

In an updated blog post on Thursday, Coinbase crypto exchange stated that it will assess any potential forked Ethereum tokens that might come after the merge.

According to the blog post, Coinbase said its goal is to “list every asset that is legal and safe to list so that we create a level playing field for all the new assets being created in crypto while continuing to protect our customers.”

If an Ethereum proof-of-work fork arises post-merge, “this asset will be reviewed with the same rigor as any other asset that is listed on our exchange,” Coinbase said.

If such a fork happens, Coinbase said it will determine which chain—proof of stake or miners’ proof of work—retains value.

This is important, as support from Coinbase and other major crypto-related firms could make or break the success of such forked chains and their tokens.

In early August, Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin acknowledged the fork that may occur as a result of the ‘merge’ upgrade. He noted: “If a proof-of-work fork becomes large, then there’s definitely a lot of applications that will have to choose one way or the other.”

While Buterin was not worried about a prospective fork, he was concerned about scams targeting retail investors during the merge transition. Users might confuse forked chains named after Ethereum as it might not be clear whether such chains are properly associated with Ethereum.

Coinbase acknowledges this in its blog post: “It’s important to always be on high alert for scams, but especially leading up to the Merge. We recommend you don’t send your ETH to anyone in an attempt to ‘upgrade to ETH2’ as there is no ETH2 token… [N]o action is required to upgrade on your part.”

Other Major Changes Likely to Happen to Ethereum

If a fork happens, it will likely lead to the creation of new ETH tokens. Besides Coinbase, many other exchanges, such as Binance, have recently said they will assess any potential new coins.

On Friday, August 26th, Binance said it is “closely monitoring” the Merge and will support it on launch. The exchange disclosed its plans to support the Proof-of-Stake version of ETH as the crucial update approaches and also welcomes listing other ETH-related forked tokens.

Just like Coinbase and Binance, other crypto firms such as stablecoin giants Circle and Tether, and decentralized exchange Uniswap Labs have signaled support only for the Ethereum proof-of-stake chain.

Ethereum’s “Merge” update is broadly regarded to be one of the largest crypto events in recent years. The Ethereum merge is expected to occur on or around September 15. During this event, the Ethereum blockchain is expected to undergo the upgrade, which will combine the Ethereum mainnet with the proof-of-stake beacon chain—the network will transition away from the proof-of-work mechanism.

The upgrade will move the network onto a new consensus mechanism that relies on validators rather than miners. The shift could mark the end of mining on Ethereum, something that Ether (ETH) miners are not happy about because their source of income will come to an end.

Hence this group of miners and other like-minded crypto community members, including TRON founder Justin Sun and established miner Chandler Gou, among others, have backed a plan for a hard fork that maintains the status quo – Ethereum fork post-merge to create what they call “ETHPoW” (the proof-of-work version of Ethereum).

Crypto miners and like-minded groups are hopeful that with the hard forking, the Ethereum merge would create “ETHPoW.” With this, miners will retain the ability to mine Ethereum.

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