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According to a study by CoinShares, "more certainty" around the Merge has spurred institutional investments into Ethereum assets. According to the latest CoinShares report, institutional investors are pouring into Ether (ETH)-based digital asset funds, which have experienced seven consecutive weeks of positive inflows.
Past week, said inflows hit $16.3 million, bringing the total over the last seven weeks to $159 million. Monday, CoinShares Head of Research James Butterfill stated that the increase in market sentiment for Ethereum-focused products is primarily down to "more clarity" on the impending Merge, which is scheduled for September 19.
"We believe this turnaround in investor mood is attributable to improved clarity on the timetable of The Merge, where Ethereum will transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake."
The Combine will see the Ethereum mainnet merge with the Ethereum 2.0 Beacon Chain, moving from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to one based on proof-of-stake (PoS). The PoS consensus process is anticipated to render Ethereum more secure, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly.
The Goerli and Prater testnet merging is also anticipated to occur this week. This will be the final dress rehearsal before the mainnet Merge, which is planned to occur in less than six weeks.
Blockchain analytics firm Glassnode claimed that crypto traders are preparing to “buy the rumor and sell the news” in anticipation of the highly anticipated Merge.
“Derivatives traders are putting directional bets on Ethereum, especially about the impending Merge scheduled for September 19,”
In a Monday email headlined “Betting on the Merge,” the analytics firm stated that following the Merge, the ETH options, and futures market is in “backwardation” – a condition in which the current price of an asset is more significant than its futures market price.
“Futures and options markets are in backwardation following September, indicating that traders anticipate the Merge to be a “buy the rumor, sell the news” event, and have positioned themselves accordingly,” the company stated.
The jury is still out on how the Merge will eventually affect the price of Ether. In a recent interview, Ethereum inventor Vitalik Buterin remained confident about ETH’s long-term prospects, stating that the narrative will likely stay positive post-Merge — an unpriced factor:
“Once the merger occurs, I anticipate that morale will skyrocket. I anticipate that the merger will not be priced in, including financial terms and psychological and narrative considerations. In narrative words, I believe it won’t be priced until after the event occurs.”
According to statistics from CoinGecko, the price of Ethereum is $1,776 at the time of writing, up 8.6 percent over the past week.