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In July 2015, Vitalik Buterin launched Ethereum. Like other blockchains, it had its own currency, Ether ($ETH), but it had something else, too: The ability to run complex smart contracts. Vitalik’s vision was that Ethereum would become an omnipresent, always accessible, decentralized computer.

Since then, that vision has been realized, and Ethereum continues to grow and evolve. The blockchain is, without question, the most important smart contract platform. It's home to thousands of decentralized applications, and ETH has become the world’s second-largest crypto asset.

Given its eight-year birthday, now seems like an opportune time to take a look at what’s been happening lately with Ethereum.

Ethereum metrics tell the tale

First, the basics. As of the beginning of September, on Ethereum:

Vitalik also tells the tale

In a long blog post in June, Vitalik laid out his ongoing vision as to the three major technical transitions Ethereum needs to undergo as it matures from a new technology to a tech stack capable of providing an easy, open, global, and permissionless experience for average users.

Vitalik emphasized that these transitions are crucial for Ethereum's growth and success, but that they are also challenging due to the intense coordination required to accomplish them. The transitions involve protocol improvements but also fundamental changes in how users interact with Ethereum, requiring deep changes from applications and wallets.

In the post, entitled The Three Transitions, he describes these transitions:

“The L2 scaling transition - everyone is moving to rollups.

The wallet security transition - everyone is moving to smart contract wallets.

The privacy-preserving transition - making sure privacy-preserving funds transfers are available, and making sure all of the other gadgets that are being developed (social recovery, identity, reputation) are privacy-preserving.”

Eth Upgrades

Within the past year, Ethereum has undergone several major upgrades. The first, of course, was the long-awaited Merge” or Ethereum 2.0, which transitioned the network from proof-of-work to a far less energy-intensive proof-of-stake. In April of this year came the combined Shanghai/Capella (or “Shapella”) upgrade, which upgraded execution and enabled Ethereum’s validators to unlock their staked ETH in the network, significantly increasing ETH liquidity.

Next on the schedule are the largely technical “Dencun” update, then the cutely named Surge, Verge, Purge, and Splurge:

  • The Surge will incorporate sharding into the blockchain which, by breaking chunks of data into smaller pieces and offloading them from the main Ethereum chain, will improve transaction speeds, scalability, and network efficiency.

  • The Verge will employ "verkle trees” to increase Ethereum’s data storage capability and make it easier for users to become network validators, thereby increasing the number of validators.

  • After this is complete, the Purge will purge unnecessary data slowing the network, with the expectation that this will dramatically increase transaction speeds.

  • After this, admittedly off in the future, the Splurge will, according to Vitalik, include a multitude of as yet unspecified tweaks and additions that will enhance operability and user experience. 

Ethereum Futures ETFs in The Near Future

According to Bloomberg, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will approve Ethereum futures exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the next few months. Twelve companies have applied to launch ETH futures ETFs, and officials have reportedly indicated that at least some of these could be approved as early as this October. 

Analysts expect that once this happens, mainstream Ethereum adoption and the number of ETH holders will dramatically increase. And as always, there’s the hope that once futures ETFs are approved, spot ETFs will be close behind. 


Also to be filed under the heading “Adoption by the Mainstream” is PayPal’s issuing of a stablecoin as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum. The dollar-denominated coin, PayPal USD or PYUSD, is fully regulated, pegged to the U.S. dollar, and backed by dollar deposits, U.S. treasuries, and cash equivalents. The PayPal/Ethereum combination is allowing consumers, merchants, and developers to seamlessly connect fiat and digital currencies. Once again, the choice of Ethereum underscores just how important and trusted the network has become. 

Another interesting development is that you can now use PayPal to buy ETH via the Metamask wallet, removing or at least lessening one of the main obstacles to web3 adoption, on-ramp friction. Since there are roughly 225 million active PayPal users and 30 million Metamask MAU’s, this seems like it can only benefit crypto and web3 adoption.

Staking Surges while DeFi TVL Slumps

While DeFi total value locked has been declining amid U.S. interest rate hikes and a cascade of exploits, failures, and losses, Ethereum staking is undergoing enormous growth. Much of this growth represents user interest in liquid staking on Ethereum staking platforms. Liquid staking enables users to earn yields on their staked ether while maintaining trading liquidity via pegged assets, like cbETH and stETH. This is making staking a preferred choice over less flexible DeFi platforms.


Okay, there are always Ethereum events going on, but even though we know that already, we took a look at the calendar and were shocked at how many high-profile events are upcoming all over the globe in just the next few weeks. Here’s just a sampler: New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Berlin, Chicago, Montreal, Miami, Venice, Korea, Hanoi, Lisbon, Istanbul, Munich, Accra, and Nairobi. 

y00ts Migration

Again demonstrating the power and popularity of Ethereum, the popular NFT project y00ts, which became one of the top projects on Solana and then migrated to Polygon earlier this year, is now moving to Ethereum. Its founder, DeLabs, looks to combine the communities of y00ts and its sister project DeGods, which migrated to Ethereum in April. While on Solana, these two projects comprised nearly 70 percent of all Solana NFT sales volume.

Amberdata Helps Keep You Up-To-Date on Ethereum

It's impossible to overstate the importance of Ethereum to crypto, DeFi, and web3. If you believe that we are right now, today, creating the future of finance, then Ethereum is Ground Zero, and it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with what’s being done there.

Amberdata can help you do that, with our research and commentary provided regularly in our blogs, resource library, guides, and primers, as well as with our comprehensive and granular datasets.

Amberdata provides solutions for every digital asset class participant. Whether you’re a financial institution just entering the asset class, a seasoned crypto-native looking to expand, or a Fintech looking to build new or enhance existing products, Amberdata has digital asset data solutions to meet your needs.

Amberdata’s unified API and data services provide a single integration point for obtaining a complete view of the entire cryptoeconomy.  We offer comprehensive data, as well as insights into blockchain networks, crypto markets, and decentralized finance. We empower financial institutions with critical market and DeFi data for research, trading and analytics, risk management, derivatives analytics, and compliance.

To learn more about Amberdata, please contact us to book a demo.

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