In a recent interview with Bankless, founder Vitalik Buterin was able to give his views on the current bear market, the upcoming Merge and the good morale among Ethereum developers: 'The bear market has its advantages.'
1 Reality check came just in time
Of course it was painful: the implosion of Luna, the bizarrely high interest rates of yield farming products the bankruptcy of Celsius...
'I wish Luna had imploded when it was at 5 billion dollars instead of at 50. But still It's better that it happened now than it happens later when it could have blown up 500 billion.'
It is healthy that the market has been given a reality check. The quiet has returned and work can begin again. Buterin hopes that crypto can remain the 'wild west' for a while, without the stifling grip of regulators. Crypto, he says, is not yet mature enough also to have a place in ETFs and pension plans.
2 Bear market has advantages
The benefit of the bear market? That tourists are gone from cryptoland. Developers and entrepreneurs in this space are getting back the peace and focus they have been longing for over a year.
'There is benefit to quietness and benefit to the crypto space being its own little land for a while.'
The overstrained expectations of investors, the arrival of charlatans, the governments that suddenly want to interfere... all of that has now faded into the background. Work can be done again.
3 Merge is bullish event
And work is being done by Ethereum developers. They are now putting the finishing touches on tests needed before the Merge can take place. Admittedly, Ethereum has not delivered as quickly as once hoped. But the fact that a date has now been named - September 19, 2022 - suggests that it really is going to happen. And according to Vitalik, the Merge has not yet been adequately incorporated into the Ethereum price. A pithy statement from someone who never seems all that concerned with price. Vitalik hastens to add that it is mainly about the mood that will turn. The Merge has taken so long that it almost became a mirage. The doubt by outsiders about progress will finally be gone.
In addition to the Merge, incredible technical improvements are taking place that should lead to Ethereum eventually being able to handle transactions on the order of 100 thousand per second. Vitalik cites zero knowledge EVM as an example of developments on which rapid progress has been made recently. And that progress was badly needed. Because, "You can lose a billion dollars from of hack but you can also lose a billion from everybody needing to pay way higher fees than they have to."
4 Morale is good
There was a period, according to Buterin, for example the bear market of 2018/2019, when Ethereum's lead developers had to struggle to keep their spirits up. That's different now. Now the mood is really good. That also has to do with the arrival of the aforementioned Merge.
The crypto market is making progress despite everything. The market has again shown in the past year that projects fail and that it is a risky industry. But: while the frontier remains risky, that frontier does keep moving. About eight years ago it was the crypto exchanges that were risky - now they are fine and it is algorithmic stablecoins that are the frontier. In short: an ever larger area can be declared safe. Crypto has actually conquered land.