Surge in Demand for Ethereum Staking After Shapella Upgrade and Implications for the Crypto Market

Interest in staking ether has surged since the implementation of the Shapella upgrade on April 12th. Staking ether means locking coins in the Ethereum network to earn passive yield, and since the upgrade, more than 4.4 million coins have been deposited into the staking contract. This takes the total amount of staked tokens to 22.58 million. Analysts at Bitfinex believe the surge in demand for staking potentially comes from large ether holders who prefer not to sell their holdings and instead seek to generate passive income.

Cryptocurrency exchange OKX plans to hire around 100 people in France over the next three years and establish a physical presence in the country. The Seychelles-based company has filed an application to become registered as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) and would join 74 other companies that have regulatory approval by France’s Financial Markets Authority. France emerged last year as a destination of choice for Binance as a European Union hub following its DASP registration.

MicroStrategy (MSTR) is seen as an attractive alternative to Coinbase (COIN) for investors looking to gain exposure to the cryptocurrency sector, according to German investment bank Berenberg. Berenberg notes that investors who are very bearish on Coinbase shares and are inclined to short the stock should look at pairing it with a long position in MicroStrategy. The report highlighted that the correlation between the two stocks is 0.96 since Coinbase went public in April 2021.

According to the market-implied probabilities for the benchmark US interest rate over the coming months, investors do not foresee a significant decline in the interest rate anytime soon. Cryptocurrency management firm Blofin believes this could place the crypto market under pressure, with the situation potentially improving at the end of the year.