Bitcoin options are breaking records, and exchanges are competing for this segment. We will tell you what these tools are and how they worksubmitted by Smart_Smell to Robopay [link] [comments]
The cryptocurrency market is constantly evolving, integrating with the traditional and inheriting complex financial products such as futures and options.
Some types of fixed-term contracts are already firmly established in the bitcoin industry. This is noticeable by the activity of traders on the CME.
However, the situation with options is somewhat different. These derivatives are difficult to understand among ordinary market participants and are not yet so popular.
Nevertheless, there is a demand for such tools, as evidenced by the growth dynamics of this market segment and interest from platforms such as Binance and Bitfinex.
Bitcoin options have already been offered on CME, LedgerX and Bakkt, which are regulated and oriented primarily on whales. Among the unregulated sites, the leader is Deribit, followed by FTX and OKEx.
ForkLog magazine figured out what options are and what types of options are. We will talk about the features of these tools and the current state of affairs in the segment. In this article you will also find comments by leading market experts on the role of options in the industry.
What are options and how do they work?An option is a financial contract concluded between two parties — the holder and the seller. The first receives the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a certain amount of the underlying asset at the strike price (strike price) on a specific date (expiration date).
The seller undertakes to buy or sell the asset at the request of the option holder. The latter pays the seller at the time of purchase of the contract a certain amount of money — the so-called premium.
The rights and obligations of the holder and seller differ significantly. The former has the right to choose whether to exercise the option or not. The seller is obliged to fulfill the terms of the contract at the request of the holder.
Parameters such as the type of underlying asset, expiration date, strike price are fixed at the time of issue of the contract, after which they cannot be changed.
Like futures, options are derivative financial instruments and derivatives. This means that they can be based on various underlying assets (BA) — stocks, indices or cryptocurrencies.
“Like the options already existing in traditional finance for all major assets, there are contracts based on BTC and ETH on the cryptocurrency market. They are very interesting financial products“, said Su Zhu, head of Three Arrows Capital, in a conversation with ForkLog.
Options are used both for hedging risks and for speculative trading. For example, a speculator confident in the growth of the underlying asset buys a call option. If the BA price rises above the strike, the trader can use his contract to buy a discounted asset.
“Derivatives such as options allow users to hedge risks and generate revenue. Derivatives play a key role in the traditional financial market. These tools are needed so that the cryptocurrency market continues to grow and develop, being filled with new participants“, said Aaron Gong, vice president of Binance Futures.
Practical use of optionsConsider the simplest example of options hedging. Suppose there is a company manufacturing tomato paste, sauces and ketchups. There is a farmer supplying this company with tomatoes. He acts in conditions of fierce competition, close to perfect.
It is extremely important for a company to buy raw materials cheaper to minimize production costs and remain profitable. The farmer, in turn, hopes for a long-term cooperation with the company so as not to lose a major client.
The company offers the farmer an option, assuming the right to buy 10 tons of tomatoes of the next year’s crop at the current price — say, $1,000 per ton. To exercise this right, the company pays the farmer an option premium of 3% of the total transaction amount of $10,000, that is, $300.
The farmer will have to, at the request of the company, sell the appropriate quantity of goods at the above price and at a specified time.
A year later, the crop was high, which led to a decrease in the market value of tomatoes to $800 per ton. The company decides not to exercise its right to purchase raw materials for $10,000, as other farmers can buy the same 10 tons of tomatoes for only $8,000.
Thus, having lost only $300 as a premium on an option, the company is insured against price risk. Buying raw materials at a significantly lower market price is more than worth the price of the option contract.
Let’s imagine another scenario: the crop turned out to be unimportant and the price of scarce tomatoes jumped to $1200 per ton. Then the company will certainly take advantage of the right to purchase tomatoes for $1000. Thus, the result is any case.
It is easy to guess that the options can be used by miners to hedge the risks of adverse changes in the price of the extracted asset. For example, expecting a decrease in the price of BTC, miners can use options that give them the right to sell cryptocurrency in the future at a price higher than the breakeven point.
“Miners are already very active in options markets. And, probably, they will remain active“, Su Zhu said.
Su Zhu is confident that in the long term, options will make the cryptocurrency spot market more liquid and attractive to a wide range of participants. He added that the growing popularity of such contracts among miners could significantly reduce sales pressure.
“Options give miners the opportunity to fix the price of coins mined in the future. Miners can better manage their production costs and protect themselves from market volatility“, said Aaron Gong, expressing confidence that the popularity of options will continue to grow.
According to him, such tools open up new opportunities and may be of interest to speculators, funds and long-term cryptocurrency holders.
“Institutional investors are also showing growing interest in options and other derivatives. Last week it was reported that the famous Wall Street trader Paul Tudor Jones allocated a few percent from his Tudor BVI fund for bitcoin futures. This is a positive signal, which means that more and more institutions are interested in the cryptocurrency market“, Gong added.
However, option strategies are not suitable for every market participant — effective work with these tools requires certain experience, Co-founder of CoinIndex.agency Julia Sporysh is sure:
“Of course, in order to use this effectively, the miner must have an experienced trader (option strategies are some of the most difficult on the market) — or they will have to unite and work through specialized trading companies. This market exists, although it is not for the general public.”
Also, according to her, options may be of interest to funds and retail traders who have gained a hand in speculative trading.
“Options are an independent and good speculative tool. And if you have positions in futures or in the spot market, it’s just the time to explore new opportunities“, added Yulia Sporysh.
Types of optionsThere are two main types of options — option call and option put. The first gives the right to the contract holder to purchase a certain amount of the underlying asset from the seller (they also say — the inscription) at the strike price on a certain date in the future. This type of option was used in the tomato example.
The put option, on the contrary, gives the buyer of the contract the right to sell the underlying asset at a fixed price. The latter may be higher than the market at the time of expiration, which is beneficial to the trader.
Market participants use the call, predicting an increase in the price of BA, and put — expecting it to decline.
More complex strategies use combinations of these two types of contracts.
There is also the term “covered option”. For example, an option call is covered if the seller has the amount of the underlying asset corresponding to the terms of the contract.
Options may also differ in the style of execution — American or European.
European-style options require the holder to execute the contract exclusively on the expiration date. Such options, in particular, are presented at CME and Bakkt.
American style implies the possibility of contract execution at any time prior to the date of expiration. Options of both styles are traded all over the world, their names have no relation to geographic location.
There are less standardized, exotic options. However, the popularity and importance of such instruments in the financial market is not so great.
Parameters and conditions for trading certain options are described in the specifications for them, which indicate the expiration date, strike price and other elements of the contract.
Premium, strike price and cash optionThe option premium is the amount of money paid by the buyer to the seller. The premium is equal to the value of the contract and, in fact, represents a fee for the risk of adverse changes in the value of the underlying asset.
The option premium is formed by two components:
• Intrinsic value — the amount that the buyer would receive if the contract were currently executed. It depends on the ratio of the price of the underlying asset and the strike.
• Time value — depends on the time remaining until expiration. Usually, the less time it takes to execute a contract, the lower the premium.
As a rule, high price volatility contributes to premium growth, and vice versa. A deal with a close strike price in relation to the current one has much greater chances of closing in profit and, therefore, the premium for such an option will be relatively high.
The strike price is the price fixed in the option at which the buyer of the call option can buy (or sell, if this is a put option) the underlying asset. In turn, the seller of the contract is obliged to sell or buy BA.
Money is an indicator of the ability to receive funds from the exercise of the right to exercise a derivative. In the context of options, cash can be calculated by comparing the spot price of the BA and the strike price of the option. Thus, three options are possible:
• “in the money” option: in the case of a call — if the spot price is higher than the strike (then the intrinsic value of the contract is positive), in the case of a put, on the contrary, if the BA price is lower than the strike;
• option “on money” (or “with one’s own”) — equal strike to current stock quotes, intrinsic value equal to 0;
• the option “out of money” (“without money”) — the exercise of the option is not economically feasible; in such a situation, the current price of the underlying asset is lower than the strike price of the call option or, conversely, the spot price of the BA is higher than the strike price in the case of a put.
Option strategiesThere are many option trading strategies. Four basic approaches can be distinguished.
Long call — buying a call option, the investor expects an increase in the price of the underlying asset above the strike on the expiration date of the contract. Then he will be able to buy an asset at a discount to the market price and thus earn on the difference. If the price drops below the strike, the buyer risks only the premium paid for the option.
Long put — is a kind of alternative to a short position in the spot market. The buyer of the put option hopes to make money, assuming that the price of the BA falls below the strike at the time of expiration. In this scenario, the investor may sell the asset at a higher price than the market price.
Also, through a put option, an investor can limit the risk of a fall in the price of an asset that has a long position open. According to Su Zhu, miners may use the “protective put” strategy, in whose activity a substantial and prolonged drop in the price of mined cryptocurrency is undesirable. Through such tools, miners can provide profitable or even break-even activity.
Short call — the investor acts as the seller of the contract, counting on a decrease in the price of BA below the strike on the date of expiration. However, the higher the price of the asset, the more losses the inscription bears. Thus, the risk of the seller of the contract is unlimited, and the profit potential is limited by the premium on the sale of the call.
Short put — the seller of such an option expects a premium on it, being firmly convinced that the price of the BA will be higher than the strike.
Combinations of these basic strategies may underlie more sophisticated options trading approaches, such as:
• protective put — purchase of a put option for an available asset;
• covered (secured) call — an investor sells a call option to an existing BA or which will be acquired simultaneously with the sale of the option; the strategy reduces the risk of owning an asset, since a fall in its price is partially offset by a premium;
• straddle — a kind of bet on volatility, which implies the purchase of a call and put option on the same asset with the same expiration date and the same strike price;
• strangle — almost the same as straddle, differs only in different strike prices.
ConclusionsOptions are complex financial instruments, their mechanism of work is unlikely to be mastered immediately by most novice traders. Nevertheless, these derivatives may seem interesting to experienced market participants and, in particular, to miners.
The following advantages and disadvantages of options can be distinguished. Of the advantages of these contracts, we note:
- flexibility of use in speculative trading;
- the ability to use many combinations and trading strategies;
- a good tool for hedging risks;
- the ability to use in any trend — upward, downward, sideways.
- the difficulty of understanding the mechanism of work, especially for novice market participants;
- asymmetric conditions and, accordingly, risks for the buyer and seller;
- the complexity of trading strategies;
- the volatility of an option premium, which depends on the proximity of the expiration date and price dynamics in the spot market;
- low liquidity.
Different industry players have different cryptocurrency options. Some consider them promising tools useful for miners, funds, retail traders and the market as a whole. Others are convinced that such derivatives are archaism.
Nevertheless, options are gradually taking root in the cryptocurrency market. This is evident in the dynamics of trading volume and open interest. In addition, more and more exchanges are trying to add support for these contracts, which contributes to increased competition and further development of the industry.
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1. What is Bitcoin (BTC)?
2. Bitcoin’s core featuresFor a more beginner’s introduction to Bitcoin, please visit Binance Academy’s guide to Bitcoin.
Unspent Transaction Output (UTXO) modelA UTXO transaction works like cash payment between two parties: Alice gives money to Bob and receives change (i.e., unspent amount). In comparison, blockchains like Ethereum rely on the account model.
Nakamoto consensusIn the Bitcoin network, anyone can join the network and become a bookkeeping service provider i.e., a validator. All validators are allowed in the race to become the block producer for the next block, yet only the first to complete a computationally heavy task will win. This feature is called Proof of Work (PoW).
The probability of any single validator to finish the task first is equal to the percentage of the total network computation power, or hash power, the validator has. For instance, a validator with 5% of the total network computation power will have a 5% chance of completing the task first, and therefore becoming the next block producer.
Since anyone can join the race, competition is prone to increase. In the early days, Bitcoin mining was mostly done by personal computer CPUs.
As of today, Bitcoin validators, or miners, have opted for dedicated and more powerful devices such as machines based on Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (“ASIC”).
Proof of Work secures the network as block producers must have spent resources external to the network (i.e., money to pay electricity), and can provide proof to other participants that they did so.
With various miners competing for block rewards, it becomes difficult for one single malicious party to gain network majority (defined as more than 51% of the network’s hash power in the Nakamoto consensus mechanism). The ability to rearrange transactions via 51% attacks indicates another feature of the Nakamoto consensus: the finality of transactions is only probabilistic.
Once a block is produced, it is then propagated by the block producer to all other validators to check on the validity of all transactions in that block. The block producer will receive rewards in the network’s native currency (i.e., bitcoin) as all validators approve the block and update their ledgers.
Block productionThe Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Merkle tree data structure in order to organize hashes of numerous individual transactions into each block. This concept is named after Ralph Merkle, who patented it in 1979.
With the use of a Merkle tree, though each block might contain thousands of transactions, it will have the ability to combine all of their hashes and condense them into one, allowing efficient and secure verification of this group of transactions. This single hash called is a Merkle root, which is stored in the Block Header of a block. The Block Header also stores other meta information of a block, such as a hash of the previous Block Header, which enables blocks to be associated in a chain-like structure (hence the name “blockchain”).
An illustration of block production in the Bitcoin Protocol is demonstrated below.
Block time and mining difficultyBlock time is the period required to create the next block in a network. As mentioned above, the node who solves the computationally intensive task will be allowed to produce the next block. Therefore, block time is directly correlated to the amount of time it takes for a node to find a solution to the task. The Bitcoin protocol sets a target block time of 10 minutes, and attempts to achieve this by introducing a variable named mining difficulty.
Mining difficulty refers to how difficult it is for the node to solve the computationally intensive task. If the network sets a high difficulty for the task, while miners have low computational power, which is often referred to as “hashrate”, it would statistically take longer for the nodes to get an answer for the task. If the difficulty is low, but miners have rather strong computational power, statistically, some nodes will be able to solve the task quickly.
Therefore, the 10 minute target block time is achieved by constantly and automatically adjusting the mining difficulty according to how much computational power there is amongst the nodes. The average block time of the network is evaluated after a certain number of blocks, and if it is greater than the expected block time, the difficulty level will decrease; if it is less than the expected block time, the difficulty level will increase.
What are orphan blocks?In a PoW blockchain network, if the block time is too low, it would increase the likelihood of nodes producingorphan blocks, for which they would receive no reward. Orphan blocks are produced by nodes who solved the task but did not broadcast their results to the whole network the quickest due to network latency.
It takes time for a message to travel through a network, and it is entirely possible for 2 nodes to complete the task and start to broadcast their results to the network at roughly the same time, while one’s messages are received by all other nodes earlier as the node has low latency.
Imagine there is a network latency of 1 minute and a target block time of 2 minutes. A node could solve the task in around 1 minute but his message would take 1 minute to reach the rest of the nodes that are still working on the solution. While his message travels through the network, all the work done by all other nodes during that 1 minute, even if these nodes also complete the task, would go to waste. In this case, 50% of the computational power contributed to the network is wasted.
The percentage of wasted computational power would proportionally decrease if the mining difficulty were higher, as it would statistically take longer for miners to complete the task. In other words, if the mining difficulty, and therefore targeted block time is low, miners with powerful and often centralized mining facilities would get a higher chance of becoming the block producer, while the participation of weaker miners would become in vain. This introduces possible centralization and weakens the overall security of the network.
However, given a limited amount of transactions that can be stored in a block, making the block time too longwould decrease the number of transactions the network can process per second, negatively affecting network scalability.
3. Bitcoin’s additional features
Segregated Witness (SegWit)Segregated Witness, often abbreviated as SegWit, is a protocol upgrade proposal that went live in August 2017.
SegWit separates witness signatures from transaction-related data. Witness signatures in legacy Bitcoin blocks often take more than 50% of the block size. By removing witness signatures from the transaction block, this protocol upgrade effectively increases the number of transactions that can be stored in a single block, enabling the network to handle more transactions per second. As a result, SegWit increases the scalability of Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Litecoin.
SegWit also makes transactions cheaper. Since transaction fees are derived from how much data is being processed by the block producer, the more transactions that can be stored in a 1MB block, the cheaper individual transactions become.
The legacy Bitcoin block has a block size limit of 1 megabyte, and any change on the block size would require a network hard-fork. On August 1st 2017, the first hard-fork occurred, leading to the creation of Bitcoin Cash (“BCH”), which introduced an 8 megabyte block size limit.
Conversely, Segregated Witness was a soft-fork: it never changed the transaction block size limit of the network. Instead, it added an extended block with an upper limit of 3 megabytes, which contains solely witness signatures, to the 1 megabyte block that contains only transaction data. This new block type can be processed even by nodes that have not completed the SegWit protocol upgrade.
Furthermore, the separation of witness signatures from transaction data solves the malleability issue with the original Bitcoin protocol. Without Segregated Witness, these signatures could be altered before the block is validated by miners. Indeed, alterations can be done in such a way that if the system does a mathematical check, the signature would still be valid. However, since the values in the signature are changed, the two signatures would create vastly different hash values.
For instance, if a witness signature states “6,” it has a mathematical value of 6, and would create a hash value of 12345. However, if the witness signature were changed to “06”, it would maintain a mathematical value of 6 while creating a (faulty) hash value of 67890.
Since the mathematical values are the same, the altered signature remains a valid signature. This would create a bookkeeping issue, as transactions in Nakamoto consensus-based blockchain networks are documented with these hash values, or transaction IDs. Effectively, one can alter a transaction ID to a new one, and the new ID can still be valid.
This can create many issues, as illustrated in the below example:
Since the transaction malleability issue is fixed, Segregated Witness also enables the proper functioning of second-layer scalability solutions on the Bitcoin protocol, such as the Lightning Network.
Lightning NetworkLightning Network is a second-layer micropayment solution for scalability.
Specifically, Lightning Network aims to enable near-instant and low-cost payments between merchants and customers that wish to use bitcoins.
Lightning Network was conceptualized in a whitepaper by Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja in 2015. Since then, it has been implemented by multiple companies. The most prominent of them include Blockstream, Lightning Labs, and ACINQ.
A list of curated resources relevant to Lightning Network can be found here.
In the Lightning Network, if a customer wishes to transact with a merchant, both of them need to open a payment channel, which operates off the Bitcoin blockchain (i.e., off-chain vs. on-chain). None of the transaction details from this payment channel are recorded on the blockchain, and only when the channel is closed will the end result of both party’s wallet balances be updated to the blockchain. The blockchain only serves as a settlement layer for Lightning transactions.
Since all transactions done via the payment channel are conducted independently of the Nakamoto consensus, both parties involved in transactions do not need to wait for network confirmation on transactions. Instead, transacting parties would pay transaction fees to Bitcoin miners only when they decide to close the channel.
One limitation to the Lightning Network is that it requires a person to be online to receive transactions attributing towards him. Another limitation in user experience could be that one needs to lock up some funds every time he wishes to open a payment channel, and is only able to use that fund within the channel.
However, this does not mean he needs to create new channels every time he wishes to transact with a different person on the Lightning Network. If Alice wants to send money to Carol, but they do not have a payment channel open, they can ask Bob, who has payment channels open to both Alice and Carol, to help make that transaction. Alice will be able to send funds to Bob, and Bob to Carol. Hence, the number of “payment hubs” (i.e., Bob in the previous example) correlates with both the convenience and the usability of the Lightning Network for real-world applications.
Schnorr Signature upgrade proposalElliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (“ECDSA”) signatures are used to sign transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain.
However, many developers now advocate for replacing ECDSA with Schnorr Signature. Once Schnorr Signatures are implemented, multiple parties can collaborate in producing a signature that is valid for the sum of their public keys.
This would primarily be beneficial for network scalability. When multiple addresses were to conduct transactions to a single address, each transaction would require their own signature. With Schnorr Signature, all these signatures would be combined into one. As a result, the network would be able to store more transactions in a single block.
The reduced size in signatures implies a reduced cost on transaction fees. The group of senders can split the transaction fees for that one group signature, instead of paying for one personal signature individually.
Schnorr Signature also improves network privacy and token fungibility. A third-party observer will not be able to detect if a user is sending a multi-signature transaction, since the signature will be in the same format as a single-signature transaction.
4. Economics and supply distributionThe Bitcoin protocol utilizes the Nakamoto consensus, and nodes validate blocks via Proof-of-Work mining. The bitcoin token was not pre-mined, and has a maximum supply of 21 million. The initial reward for a block was 50 BTC per block. Block mining rewards halve every 210,000 blocks. Since the average time for block production on the blockchain is 10 minutes, it implies that the block reward halving events will approximately take place every 4 years.
As of May 12th 2020, the block mining rewards are 6.25 BTC per block. Transaction fees also represent a minor revenue stream for miners.
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Staking in Ethereum 2.0: when will it appear and how much can you earn on it?
Why coin staking will be added in Ethereum 2.0A brief educational program for those who do not follow the update of the project of Vitalik Buterin. Ethereum has long been in need of updating, and the main problem of the network is scalability: the blockchain is overloaded, transactions are slowing down, and the cost of “gas” (transaction fees) is growing. If you do not update the consensus algorithm, then the network will someday cease to be operational. To avoid this, developers have been working for several years on moving the network from the PoW algorithm to state 2.0, running on PoS. This should make the network more scalable, faster and cheaper. In December last year, the first upgrade phase, Istanbul, was implemented in the network, and in April of this year, the Topaz test network with the possibility of staking was launched - the first users already earned 1%. In the PoS algorithm that Ethereum switches to, there is no mining, and validation occurs due to the delegation of user network coins to the masternodes. For the duration of the delegation, these coins are frozen, and for providing their funds for block validation, users receive a portion of the reward. This is staking - such a crypto-analogue of a bank deposit. There are several types of staking: with income from dividends or masternodes, but not the device’s power, as in PoW algorithms, but the number of miner coins is important in all of them. The more coins, the higher the income. For crypto investors, staking is an opportunity to receive passive income from blocked coins. It is assumed that the launch of staking:
The first payments to stakeholders will be one to two years after the launch of the updateThe minimum validator steak will be 32 ETN (≈$6092 for today). This is the minimum number of coins that an ETH holder must freeze in order to qualify for payments. Another prerequisite is not to disconnect your wallet from the network. If the user disconnects and goes into automatic mode, he loses his daily income. If at some point the steak drops below 16 ETH, the user will be deprived of the right to be a validator. The Ethereum network has to go through many more important stages before coin holders can make money on its storage. Collin Myers, the leader of the product strategy at the startup of the Ethereum developer ConsenSys, said that the genesis block of the new network will not be mined until the total amount of frozen funds reaches 524,000 ETN ($99.76 million at the time of publication). So many coins should be kept by 16,375 validators with a minimum deposit of 32 ETN. Until this moment, none of them will receive a percentage profit. Myers noted that this event is not tied to a clear time and depends on the activity of the community. All validators will have to freeze a rather significant amount for an indefinite period in the new network without confidence in the growth of the coin rate. It’s hard to say how many people there are. The developers believe that it will take 12−18 or even 24 months. According to the latest ConsenSys Codefi report, more than 65% of the 300 ETH owners surveyed plan to use the staking opportunity. This sample, of course, is not representative, but it can be assumed that most major coin holders will still be willing to take a chance.
How much can you earn on Ethereum stakingDevelopers have been arguing for a long time about what profitability should be among the validators of the Ethereum 2.0 network. The economic model of the network maintains an inflation rate below 1% and dynamically adjusts the reward scale for validators. The difficulty is not to overpay, but not to pay too little. Profitability will be variable, as it depends on the number and size of steaks, as well as other parameters. The fewer frozen coins and validators, the higher the yield, and vice versa. This is an easy way to motivate users to freeze ETN. According to the October calculations of Collin Myers, after the launch of Ethereum 2.0, validators will be able to receive from 4.6% to 10.3% per annum as a reward for their steak. At the summit, he clarified that the first time after the launch of the Genesis block, it can even reach 20.3%. But as the number of steaks grows, profitability will decline. So, with five million steaks, it drops to about 6.6%. The above numbers are not net returns. They do not include equipment and electricity costs. According to Myers, after the Genesis block, the costs of maintaining the validator node will be about 4.75% of the remuneration. They will continue to increase as the number of blocked coins increases, and with a five millionth steak, they will grow to about 14.7%. Myers emphasized that profitability will be higher for those who will work on their own equipment, rather than relying on cloud services. The latter, according to his calculations, at current prices can bring a loss of up to minus 15% per year. This, he believes, promotes true decentralization. At the end of April, Vitalik Buterin said that validators will be able to earn 5% per annum with a minimum stake of 32 ETH - 1.6 ETH per year, or $ 304 at the time of publication. However, given the cost of freezing funds, the real return will be at 0.8%.
How to calculate profitability from ETN stakingThe easiest way to calculate the estimated return for Ethereum staking is to use a special calculator. For example, from the online services EthereumPrice or Stakingrewards. The service takes into account the latest indicators of network profitability, as well as additional characteristics: the time of operation of a node in the network, the price of a coin, the share of blocked ETNs and so on. Depending on these values, the profit of the validator can vary greatly. For example, you block 32 ETNs at today's coin price - $190, 1% of the coins are blocked, and the node works 99% of the time. According to the EthereumPrice calculator, in this case your yield will be 14.25% per annum, or 4.56 ETH.
Validator earnings from the example above for 10 years according to EthereumPrice.
If to change the data, you have the same steak, but the proportion of blocked coins is 10%. Now your annual yield is only 4.51%, or 1.44 ETH.
Validator earnings from the second example over 10 years according to EthereumPrice.
It is important that this is profitability excluding expenses. Real returns will be significantly lower and in the second case may be negative. In addition, you must consider the fluctuation of the course. Even with a yield of 14% per annum in ETN, dollar-denominated returns may be negative in a bear market.
When will the transition to Ethereum 2.0 startBen Edgington from Teku, the operator of Ethereum 2.0, at the last summit said that the transition to PoS could be launched in July this year. These deadlines, if there are no new delays, were also mentioned by experts of the BitMEX crypto exchange in their recent report on the transition of the Ethereum ecosystem to stage 2.0. However, on May 12, Vitalik Buterin denied the possibility of launching Ethereum 2.0 in July. The network is not yet ready and is unlikely to be launched before the end of the year. July 30 marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of Ethereum. Unfortunately, it seems that it will not be possible to start the update for the anniversary again. Full deployment of updates will consist of several stages. Phase 0. Beacon chain. The "zero" phase, which can be launched in July this year. In fact, it will only be a network test and PoS testing without economic activity, but it will use new ETN coins and the possibility of staking will appear. The "zero" phase will test the first layer of Ethereum 2.0 architecture - Lighthouse. This is the Ethereum 2.0 client in Rust, developed back in 2018. Phase 1. Sharding - rejection of full nodes in favor of load balancing between all network nodes (shards). This should increase network bandwidth and solve the scalability problem. This is the first full phase of Ethereum 2.0. It will initially be deployed with 64 shards. It is because of sharding that the transition of a network to a new state is so complicated - existing smart contracts cannot be transferred to a new network. Therefore, at first, perhaps several years, both networks will exist simultaneously. Phase 2. State execution. In this phase, various applications will work, and it will be possible to conclude smart contracts. This is a full-fledged working Ethereum 2.0 network. After the second phase, two networks will work in parallel - Ethereum and Ethereum 2.0. Coin holders will be able to transfer ETN from the first to the second without the ability to transfer them back. To stimulate network support, coin emissions in both networks will increase until they merge. Read more about the phases of transition to state 2.0 in the aforementioned BitMEX report.
How the upgrade to Ethereum 2.0 will affect the staking market and coin priceThe transition of the second largest coin to PoS will dramatically increase the stake in the market. The deposit in 32 ETH is too large for most users. Therefore, we should expect an increase in offers for staking from the exchanges. So, the launch of such a service in November was announced by the largest Swiss crypto exchange Bitcoin Suisse. She will not have a minimum deposit, and the commission will be 15%. According to October estimates by Binance Research analysts, the transition of Ethereum to stage 2.0 can double the price of a coin and the stake of staking in the market, and it will also make ETH the most popular currency on the PoS algorithm. Adam Cochran, partner at MetaCartel Ventures DAO and developer of DuckDuckGo, argued in his blog that Ethereum's transition to state 2.0 would be the “biggest event” of the cryptocurrency market. He believes that a 3–5% return will attract the capital of large investors, and fear of lost profit (FOMO) among retail investors will push them to actively buy coins. The planned coin burning mechanism for each transaction will reduce the potential oversupply. However, BitMEX experts in the report mentioned above believe that updating the network will not be as important an event as it seems to many, and will not have a significant impact on the coin rate and the staking market. Initially, this will be more likely to test the PoS system, rather than a full-fledged network. There will be no economic activity and smart contracts, and interest for a steak will not be paid immediately. Therefore, most of the economic activity will continue to be concluded in the original Ethereum network, which will work in parallel with the new one. Analysts of the exchange emphasized that due to the addition of staking, the first time (short, in their opinion) a large number of ETNs will be blocked on the network. Most likely, this will limit the supply of coins and lead to higher prices. However, this can also release some of the ETNs blocked in smart contracts, and then the price will not rise. Moreover, the authors of the document are not sure that the demand for coins will be long-term and stable. For this to happen, PoS and sharding must prove that they work stably and provide the benefits for which the update was started. But, if this happens, the network is waiting for a wave of coins from the developers of smart contracts and DeFi protocols. In any case, quick changes should not be expected. A full transition to Ethereum 2.0 will take years and won’t be smooth - network failures are inevitable. We also believe that we should not rely on Ethereum staking as another panacea for all the problems of the coin and the market. Most likely, the transition of the network to PoS will not have a significant impact on the staking market, but may positively affect the price of the coin. However, relying on the ETN rally in anticipation of this is too optimistic.
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