Ethereum close to its big upgrade, but why has it dropped more than bitcoin?

This article has been updated to correct the identification of Citadel Titles.

Hi! Welcome back to Distributed Ledger, our weekly crypto newsletter that arrives in your inbox every Thursday. I’m writing in the heat of Austin, TX, where Consensus, a multi-day cryptocurrency conference kicked off today.

As usual, find me on Twitter at @FrancesYue_ to send feedback or tell us what you think we should cover.

Encryption at a glance

Bitcoin BTCUSD,
up 0.8% over the past seven days, trading at around $30,181 on Thursday, according to CoinDesk data. Ether ETHUSD,
lost 0.7% over the seven-day period to about $1,793. Dogecoin DOGEUSD meme token,
dropped 2%, while another dog-themed token, Shiba Inu SHIBUSD,
fell 5.4% compared to seven days ago.

encryption metrics
Biggest Winners


%7 day return




Chain link



Theta network









Source: CoinGecko on June 9

biggest declines


%7 day return

Earth Luna Classic









Internet computer






Source: CoinGecko on June 9

late ether

Ethereum is ready for “Merge”, a long-awaited update that will transition the blockchain from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, a consensus mechanism that is much more energy efficient. Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, said in May that the “Merge” could take place as early as August.

The blockchain took a step closer to that milestone this week as it completed a successful dress rehearsal on Wednesday on the Ropsten testnet.

However, ether has been underperforming bitcoin so far this year, although both have fallen. Bitcoin is down about 36% year-to-date, while ether has lost more than 51%, according to data from CoinDesk.

Analysts partly attributed it to different investor perceptions of the two biggest cryptocurrencies.

“You almost have to think of it as different valuation frameworks where bitcoin is your reserve value in the ecosystem,” Jean-Marie Mognetti, chief executive of crypto asset manager Coinshares, said in an interview.

As investors are worried about heated inflation, signs of a slowing economy and the Fed tightening its monetary policy, “what you can see is that people are almost taking a risk rebalancing into cryptocurrencies, while much of this cryptocurrency is making its way into bitcoin, which is a legacy of the ecosystem,” Mognetti said.

David Siemer, chief executive of Wave Financial, echoed the point. “Many of our clients are high-income individuals. And the first purchase of cryptocurrencies through us is always in bitcoin,” said Siemer.

Ether’s disappointing performance could also be related to the uncertainty surrounding “Merge,” according to Katie Talati, Research Director at Arca. The update has been delayed several times in the past and “I think there are a lot of question marks in terms of how and when the merger will happen,” Talati said.

Still, in the longer term, investors are viewing the upgrade as a bullish event, Talati said. “Some of our trading team have seen a lot of call buys for longer-dated ETH options.”

Citadel Securities and Virtu’s crypto push?

are building a cryptocurrency trading platform together with Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab Corp., while the product could launch later this year or early next, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

It marks Citadel Securities and Virtu’s first major foray into cryptocurrencies. Ken Griffin, the billionaire founder of Citadel Securities and the Citadel hedge fund, recently appears to have softened his stance on the fledgling asset class. Once he described the chase for crypto as a “jihadist call” against the US dollar, but he said in March that “crypto has been one of the big stories in finance over the last 15 years.”

“I still have my skepticism,” Griffin told Bloomberg in an interview at the time. “But there are hundreds and millions of people in this world today who disagree with that… It’s fair to assume that over the next few months you’ll see us engaged in making cryptocurrency markets,” he said.

Coinbase Terminating Offers

Last week, Coinbase said it would extend the hiring freeze for new and filling roles for the “foreseeable future” and rescind some accepted offers “in response to current market conditions and ongoing business prioritization efforts.”

On Coinbase Talent Hub, a website the company created to connect impacted candidates with other job opportunities, more than 300 people with different backgrounds from business operations to marketing and engineering recently submitted details of their work experience. On LinkedIn, some said they had already left their previous jobs for positions at Coinbase, while others rejected competing offers.

I spoke with two people who faced such a situation. Read their stories here.

Crypto companies, funds

shares of Coinbase Global Inc.. COIN,
are down 6% to $64.95 on Thursday, and are down 12% in the past five sessions. by Michael Saylor MicroStrategy Inc.
it lost 5.22% on Thursday to $220.74 and is down 9.7% over the past five days.

mining company Riot Blockchain Inc.
the stock has tumbled 8.6% to $5.46 and is down 20.4% in the past five days. shares of Marathon Digital Holdings Inc.
lost 9.4% to $7.72, with a 17.24% loss over the past five days. another miner, Ebang International Holdings Inc. EBOON,
it fell 3.1% to $0.97 while posting a 1.2% gain over the past five days. Inc.
Shares traded 3.3% lower to $30.95. The shares lost 5% over the five-session period.

shares of Block Inc.
formerly known as Square, plunged 8% to $77.98, contributing to a 10.8% loss for the week. Tesla Inc. TSLA,
The shares rose 1.2% to $734.62 while they have fallen 5.2% over the past five sessions.

PayPal Holdings Inc.
it lost 2.2% to $85.56 and was down 3.1% over the five-session period. Nvidia Corp.
the stock is down 1.2% to $184.26, looking at a 6% loss over the past five trading days.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
Shares were down 0.9% to $101.03 on Thursday, while they were down 6.9% from five trading days ago.

Among cryptocurrency funds, ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF
up 0.1% to $18.70 on Thursday, while Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF
up 0.2% to $11.64. VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF
gained 0.4% to $29.42.

Bitcoin trust in shades of gray
traded up 0.4% to $19.60.

Required readings

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