–the two largest cryptocurrencies–have rocketed higher so far this year, with traders nervously eyeing further volatility ahead.
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The bitcoin price has climbed by around 70% since the beginning of 2023 while the ethereum price is up by 50%, putting crypto at a “pivotal moment.”
Now, the chief executive of CoinbaseCOIN
, Brian Armstrong, has confirmed the major U.S. bitcoin and crypto exchange will integrate bitcoin’s Lightning Network, designed to help it scale, while ethereum is hurtling toward its Shanghai upgrade, allowing users to withdraw their staked ethereum.
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“Lightning is great and something we’ll integrate,” Armstrong told a Twitter user who had questioned why the Coinbase founder had never posted about the technology without specifying when the San Francisco-based exchange will add support for the bitcoin upgrade.
The Lightning Network, a so-called layer-2 solution that sits on top of the bitcoin blockchain, was first proposed by two academics in 2016 to help facilitate cheaper and faster bitcoin transactions that happen away from bitcoin’s main layer and allow the cryptocurrency to better compete with ethereum, other new cryptocurrencies and traditional payment networks like VisaV
Confirmation that Coinbase will follow other bitcoin and crypto exchanges in supporting the Lightning Network has been welcomed by the bitcoin and crypto community.
“Looking forward to see Lightning support on Coinbase,” Gabor Gurbacs, a crypto entrepreneur and advisor to investment manager VanEck, posted to Twitter. “Bitfinex has done a great job with Lightning earlier.”
Meanwhile, analysts expect ethereum’s Shanghai upgrade this week, scheduled for April 12, to pile pressure on the crypto market as almost 1.3 million of ethereum currently “staked” on the network is unlocked.
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The ethereum price has swung wildly over the last few years but remains far higher than its pre-2021 … [+] price, soaring along with the bitcoin price.
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“1.1 million ethereum related to partial reward withdrawals could face the market, while Celsius [Network] is likely to sell its 158,000 staked balance as part of its bankruptcy process,” analysts at K33 Research said in a note to clients seen by Coindesk this week. “These two numbers represent nearly 1.3 million ethereum or approximately $2.4 billion worth of potential sell-side pressure to face the market.”
Following ethereum’s merge upgrade last year that saw the cryptocurrency switch from bitcoin’s proof-of-work to the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake, staked ethereum has allowed holders of the cryptocurrency to help secure the ethereum network in return for rewards.
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