Ethereum “Flippening” debate to resurface post-Merge?
Once upon a time in crypto-land, the word “Flippening” was brandished about daily. The term is slang for the much-discussed possibility of Ethereum “flipping” Bitcoin’s market cap, and hence becoming the world’s biggest cryptocurrency. But recently, there has not been as much talk about a new King, as the below Google Trend data for the search term “Flippening” shows.
Regarding the price action, 1 ETH is now worth 0.06 BTC, having been close to 0.09 BTC before Christmas. As has become customary in the crypto markets, Bitcoin has held up better than its smaller counterparts, as the entire market has wobbled in 2022. However, the scale of ETH’s decline, denominated in Bitcoin, is indeed surprising, and steeper than we had seen for most of the pandemic bull run.
However, this is more a reflection of Bitcoin’s strength than Ethereum’s weakness. In previous risk-off periods, Bitcoin has cratered, leading the rest of the market down with it. In 2022, we are seeing something slightly different. With stock markets suffering the worst start to a year since 1939, Bitcoin is only down 16% YTD in USD terms.
This represents remarkable growth for the cryptocurrency and apparent progress towards its store-of-value goal. Of course, a 16% decline is still a dreadful return and nowhere near store-of-value status, but the improvement in historical terms is notable.
With Ethereum struggling thus far in 2022 (like every financial asset), talk of the Flippening has therefore died down. Contributing to this, too, is the Merge timeline, which has been repeatedly pushed back. Ethereum’s much-anticipated pivot to Proof-of-Stake, alongside other network updates such as sharding, is slated to improve the network’s scalability and tackle the biggest complaint about the blockchain – the onerous gas fees.
Any forecast for Ethereum will be anchored largely to the outcome of this update, the biggest to the network since Vitalik Buterin created it. But with the Merge now seemingly imminent – most market commentators expect it later this summer – don’t be surprised to see Ethereum jump to the forefront of the crypto headlines again.
If the Merge does come and go smoothly, there are no more roadblocks or excuses – it will finally be time for Ethereum to do its thing and show if it genuinely has the mettle to make a run towards Bitcoin again.
With the enormous chasm in value right now – at time of writing, Bitcoin is worth $742 billion while Ethereum is less than half that at $342 billion – the Flippening indeed won’t be happening anytime soon. But don’t be surprised if you start frequently coming across the term again as the Merge inches closer.