Coinbase adds ‘ETH2’ despite tomorrow’s Ethereum upgrade postponing difficulty bomb

But ETH2 is not a new cryptocurrency and the exchange appears to be prepping for Ethereum’s transition to Proof-of-Stake.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has added a mirrored version of the Ethereum blockchain’s native token Ether (ETH) to its crypto price index, just ahead of a key network upgrade on Dec. 10.

Dubbed “ETH2,” the symbol appeared to have been tracking the original Ether market data synchronously. For instance, the cost to purchase ETH2 came out to be the same as that for ETH. Meanwhile, their market capitalization, volume, circulating supply, and price changes were also identical.

Nonetheless, unlike the original, the ETH2 token had no Trading Activity, Popularity Score, or Typical Hold Time, underscoring that its role — for now — is to merely track the ETH market data at least until mid-2022.

ETH vs ETH2.0 market data. Source: Coinbase

That is probably as ETH2 seems to have been posing as the native token of Ethereum’s ongoing upgrade, dubbed Ethereum 2.0, which expects to go live fully by June 2022. But the Coinbase’s index listing appears closer to “Arrow Glacier,” a fork that would give developers more time to prepare for Ethereum 2.0.

Before Ethereum 2.0

The Arrow Glacier update aims to delay a so-called “difficulty bomb,” an incentive hardcoded inside the Ethereum blockchain since its launch in 2015, which would make it difficult for people to mine Ether. In doing so, the BOMB, if triggered, would slow down the Ethereum network, for as long as it remains proof-of-work.

Tim Beiko, one of the core developers working on the Ethereum upgrade, noted that Arrow Glacier might be the last upgrade before Ethereum 2.0 goes live next year. Meanwhile, Coinbase appears to have been treating the Arrow Glacier fork as a confirmation that they would exist a new token called ETH2 after the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade.

In detail, Ethereum 2.0, also known as “Serenity,” would enable significant changes to its design, including a full-scale transition from energy-intensive Proof-of-Work (PoW) — also used by Bitcoin (BTC) — to Proof-of-Stake (PoS).

In the current version, nodes must validate every transaction to maintain Ethereum’s public ledger. But the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade would launch “sharding,” which would divide the network into various segments (called shards) and would randomly assign nodes to each shard.

Beacon Chain and Sharding. Source: Vitalik.ca

That would remove the need for each node to scan the entire chain, theoretically improving the speed and costs required to maintain the network. Meanwhile, individual shards would share the transaction details with a so-called Beacon Chain, which serves as the backbone of Ethereum 2.0.

ETH2 is not a new crypto

Beacon Chain, which went live in December 2020, would validate the transactions on each shard, thus assisting the entire Ethereum 2.0 network reach consensus. It would also detect dishonest validators and initiate penalties by removing a portion of the validator’s stake from circulation.

Related: Vitalik Buterin outlines ‘endgame’ roadmap for ETH 2.0

At the core of Ethereum 2.0’s PoS design would be ETH (or ETH2), which primarily serves as a staking token for validators to participate in the network consensus and, in turn, to receive block rewards for it.

Beacon Chain’s deposit contract has received over 8.42 million ETH tokens from 55,300 unique depositors (validators) since its launch in December 2020.

The balance of the Ethereum 2.0 deposit contract divided by the total ETH supply. Source: CryptoQuant

That being said, ETH2 is not a new coin and would not change the ETH amount one holds. Instead, as Coinbase’s index listing suggests, ETH2 may end up becoming a rebranded version of the original Ether, without needing holders to swap one version for another.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Australian women owning crypto has doubled in 2021: Survey

The ICRI survey of 2,000 Aussies also found that 56.7% of the women surveyed said that they would enter the crypto market based on advice from family and friends.

A new survey shared with Cointelegraph has found that the proportion of Australian women who own crypto assets has doubled in the last year.

The 2021 Independent Reserve’s Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) of 2000 Australians found that the number of women who currently or have previously invested in crypto rose from 10.3% in 2020 to 20% in 2021. The percentage of female Bitcoin owners also rose from 8.3% to 14.8% according to the survey.

Independent Reserve is an Australian-based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2013, it has more than 200,000 users.

Karen Cohen, Deputy Chair for the Board of Blockchain Australia, said that more women have entered the crypto market this year as the asset class has continued to become a mainstream investment. Speaking to Cointelegraph, she said:

“I think that it tells you that investing in crypto is less risky and is just one of many different ways you can invest. I think it’s sort of giving the signal that if a bank thinks it’s okay, then you know it’s a safer place to invest.”

Cohen cited examples such as the CBA adding crypto trading options to its app in early November.

Co-founder of Independent Reserve Adrian Przelozny added that “over time, as cryptocurrency investments become more acceptable and mainstream, the perceived risk also reduces.”

He added: “I think that as that happens, you’ll see more and more women enter the market.”

Research by Grayscale from 2019 showed that women tend to be more risk-averse investors, which is often attributed as a reason for the gender gap between female and male crypto investors.

The ICRI also found that women were more likely to listen to family and friends about crypto. 56.7% of the women surveyed said that they would enter the crypto market based on advice from family and friends, as opposed to 42.2% of the men surveyed.

Cohen said, “A lot of women are getting referrals from their friends and family, so they’re getting a feeling a bit safer to get involved.”

On the other hand, 45.9% of men said they would consider entering the crypto market due to interest sparked by media coverage, compare to 41.8% of women surveyed.

Closing the gender gap

Cohen said that moving forward, she expects that total gender parity among crypto investors is still “a while away,” because it’s so entangled with gendered stereotypes and the way that women are brought up to understand risk and investment.

Przelozny agreed, saying that he couldn’t possibly speculate as to when the investment gap will close. He said: “As to when it becomes 50/50, I don’t know. But I think it’s definitely trending in the right direction.”

Cohen also said that as the Metaverse and blockchain gaming begins to dominate the crypto market, users can expect “the landscape to completely change again.”

“Is gaming more of a boy’s club than crypto?” she asked, concluding that “nobody really knows.”

Related: How women are changing the face of enterprise blockchain, literally!

In last year’s IRCI report, Cohen urged decision-makers in the crypto industry to include women in events and panel discussions, saying “we are what we see”.

The IRCI is an annual cross-sectional survey of over 2,000 Australians conducted by PureProfile. Independent Reserve says its sample was reflective of the country’s gender, age, and geographic distribution.