Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

Key Takeaways

Ethereum is scheduled to ship its landmark “Merge” occasion in September, which ought to bode effectively for ETH.
A number of Ethereum-adjacent tasks with smaller market capitalizations may additionally see the profit and find yourself outpacing ETH following a profitable Merge.
Liquid staking, NFTs, MEV, infrastructure, and Layer 2 are a few of the key areas to look at intently.

Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

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Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

If Ethereum’s “Merge” occasion is profitable, ETH ought to profit. However there are a lot of different lesser-known tasks and tokens that might outpace the second-ranked cryptocurrency as soon as the Merge ships.  

Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

Lido and Liquid Staking Protocols

Lido is among the most well-publicized tasks that might profit from the Merge. 

Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

Lido lets customers stake their ETH with Ethereum Beacon Chain validators whereas nonetheless conserving their funds liquid. It does this by issuing an equal quantity of stETH representing yield producing ETH Beacon Chain deposits. Via Lido, stETH holders at the moment make round 4% APY. 

Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

Nevertheless, after the Merge, the returns for staking ETH are set to extend considerably. The present yield consists solely of block rewards distributed by the Ethereum protocol. Nevertheless, as soon as the Ethereum community “merges” its Proof-of-Work chain with its Proof-of-Stake Beacon Chain, all transactions might be processed by staking validators. This implies all precedence charges at the moment despatched to PoW miners will as an alternative be distributed to PoS validators, growing staking yields. 

Merge & Diverge: Five Tokens That Could Outperform Ethereum

Digital asset investor CoinShares’ base case is that ETH staking yields ought to a minimum of double after the Merge whereas additionally making a extra optimistic prediction of returns as excessive as 10 to 12%. Elevated yields ought to lead to extra demand for ETH staking, in the end benefiting Lido. 

As the one approach to get publicity to Lido is thru its LDO governance token, many merchants have purchased it as a wager on the Merge being profitable. Moreover, there’s hypothesis {that a} portion of the charges generated by Lido could possibly be distributed to token holders sooner or later, turning LDO into an asset with an actual yield. 

After all, whereas Lido is probably the most well-known liquid staking protocol, it’s not the one one. Rocket Pool and Stakewise, two smaller however well-established protocols, additionally stand to learn from the Merge for a similar causes as Lido. 

Manifold Finance

Subsequent up is Manifold Finance, a protocol creating key post-Merge infrastructure for the Ethereum community. 

Manifold is a middleware protocol that separates block constructing and block validation into two distinct actions. Presently, Ethereum miners are chargeable for compiling transactions into legitimate blocks and making an attempt to mine them utilizing their hashpower. Nevertheless, after the Merge, separate entities will be capable to compile transactions into blocks and validate blocks, leaving area for a brand new “block builder” stakeholder within the Ethereum validation sub-economy. 

The protocol takes benefit of this by aggregating a number of endpoints reminiscent of Flashbots and Eden Community whereas sustaining direct entry to particular person mining swimming pools or validator nodes. Completely different entities can compete to construct every Ethereum block utilizing their very own maximal extractable methods; then, validators can select the one they want to validate primarily based on whichever is probably the most worthwhile. Block builders assist validators discover probably the most optimum blocks to validate, and each events revenue from the interplay. 

Manifold earns income from providing its companies, which will get distributed to those that stake the protocol’s FOLD token. If the Merge is profitable, Manifold’s staking income ought to enhance as extra block builders and validators reap the benefits of the protocol’s tooling. 

Optimism and Layer 2 Networks

Third on the listing is Optimism, an Ethereum Layer 2 community with a tradable token on the open market. 

As Layer 2 networks like Optimism depend on Ethereum mainnet for safety and validation, the Merge ought to increase them in a number of methods. For instance, the adoption of Proof-of-Stake ought to improve mainnet safety and thus Layer 2 safety. Furthermore, the transfer away from Proof-of-Work mining is predicted to slash Ethereum’s vitality consumption by over 99% and enhance Optimism’s inexperienced credentials. 

Nevertheless, a extra Layer 2 particular profit comes from a subsequent Ethereum improve that the Merge makes doable–EIP-4488. Presently, Layer 2 networks like Optimism “roll up” transactions into “batches,” that are despatched again to Ethereum mainnet together with varied calldata for validation. The 4488 proposal seeks to scale back the price of posting this calldata on mainnet, lowering the amortized value of transactions on Layer 2. Consequently, Layer 2 transactions turn out to be even cheaper.

If the Merge is profitable and EIP-4488 is carried out, gasoline charges on Layer 2 may lower fivefold. This could doubtless make transacting on Layer 2 much more enticing, driving use and demand for Layer 2 native tokens like OP. 

It’s value remembering that EIP-4488 received’t simply cut back charges on Optimism—different Layer 2 networks reminiscent of Arbitrum, Metis, and the upcoming zkSync and StarkNet rollups may even profit. Nevertheless, as Optimism is at the moment probably the most used Layer 2 with a token (Arbitrum hasn’t but launched one), it stands to learn probably the most from a profitable Ethereum Merge. 

Ethereum NFTs

The following entry on the listing would possibly appear to be an outlier, however there’s a powerful thesis behind it. As an alternative of a specific token or protocol, we’re taking a look at NFTs on Ethereum as an asset class that might outpace ETH within the occasion of a profitable Merge. 

ETH may respect post-Merge due to increased staking yields and a substantial drop in issuance. When the value of ETH will increase, the value of in-demand Ethereum NFTs tends to pattern in the identical course. On this manner, Ethereum NFTs will be considered as a leveraged wager on ETH. 

Psychological elements doubtless play an vital position on this market dynamic. When ETH surges, holders really feel richer than they beforehand did. And when individuals really feel wealthy, they wish to spend their cash (on this case, ETH) on issues that exhibit their wealth—particularly NFTs. 

Others have additionally noticed how NFTs act as a form of Veblen good, an asset that defies the everyday legal guidelines of provide and demand and sees elevated demand as its value will increase. These two elements mixed present a proof as to why Ethereum NFTs have beforehand outpaced spot ETH throughout market rallies. 

Not any and each Ethereum NFT assortment will profit from these results, although. When you’re planning to wager on NFTs as a leveraged ETH play, it’s doubtless greatest to stay to tasks with a confirmed monitor file. For avatar NFTs, established collections like Bored Ape Yacht Membership or CryptoPunks are prone to be the most secure choices. Different NFTs that ought to do effectively embody top-tier generative artwork from names like Tyler Hobbs and Dmitri Cherniak.

Eden Community

The ultimate mission that might find yourself outpacing ETH following the Merge is a bit more speculative than the others, but it surely has robust fundamentals to again it up. Eden Community is a maximal extractable (MEV) safety protocol with shut ties to many outstanding gamers within the Ethereum validation system. 

Presently, the protocol works with Ethereum miners to stop its customers from having their transactions front-run or sandwich attacked by these executing MEV methods. By staking the EDEN token, customers are granted increased precedence for his or her transactions and likewise acquire entry to Eden Community’s personal relayers. 

Nevertheless, when Ethereum transitions to Proof-of-Stake, the core performance that put Eden Community on the map will disappear. Thankfully, the protocol has lengthy identified this and has ready to pivot its companies for a post-Merge Ethereum. After the Merge, Eden will work with different protocols reminiscent of Manifold Finance to extend block manufacturing effectivity whereas making certain its customers’ transactions are secure from MEV. Moreover, Eden is constructing a brand new product to assist maximize the yield customers can generate from liquid staking tokens. The protocol has developed its personal distinctive yield era engine, which is at the moment deployed on Avalanche in partnership with Yield Yak and Geode Finance. 

If the Merge is profitable, Eden plans to deploy its yield era structure on Ethereum, working with widespread liquid staking platforms reminiscent of Lido and Rocket Pool to maximise returns for finish customers. Whereas these developments received’t have an effect on Eden’s tokenomics construction, they might doubtlessly enhance the protocol’s utilization. Like Lido, if a powerful narrative can kind round Eden Community, its token will doubtless act as a proxy wager for the protocol and will see a rise in

Disclosure: On the time of penning this characteristic, the writer owned ETH, FOLD, and several other different cryptocurrencies.

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