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Ethereum’s Hard Fork Is Coming

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It won’t be long before Ethereum’s long-awaited Metropolis upgrade is underway. The hard fork for Byzantium – the first leg in the update – will occur at block 4,370,000, or roughly Oct. 16.

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Developers Optimistic

Ethereum’s core development team is optimistic that clients will upgrade their software uniformly, ensuring there is no unintended splits. Clients are required to make all the necessary changes accompanying Byzantium to ensure the upgrade is completed in unison.

The blockchain’s most popular client, Go Ethereum (Geth), has already undergone the upgrade.

Hacked reported last month that, under protocol EIP 649, ether blocks will be mined ten seconds faster than they are currently. To safeguard the integrity of the token, the new protocol will also lower the reward miners receive per block to 3 ETH from 5 ETH.

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Hard fork testing began last month on Ropsten, Ethereum’s simulation environment. The test included a trial of several Ethereum Improvement Protocols (EIPs) that will be introduced in the upcoming hard fork.

The development team met over the weekend to discuss the upcoming hard fork, and generally agreed that everything is on track. No other meetings are scheduled before Oct. 16.

A high-profile fork involving bitcoin occurred over the summer, giving rise to Bitcoin Cash (BCH). More than two months later, Bitcoin Cash remains highly volatile.

Ether Prices Gaining Traction

Ether has gained momentum over the weekend, with prices hovering near one-month highs. Prices are currently trending north of $311 for a total market capitalization for $29.6 billion. Ethereum is the world’s No. 2 cryptocurrency by market cap.

Ether has gained nearly 3,600% since the start of January, when one token was valued in the single digits. The asset peaked above $400 in June before approaching that level again in September. Crypto assets are in a broad consolidation phase following China’s regulatory attack on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency exchanges.

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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Bitcoin Dumps and Pumps amid Broad Volatile Correction

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The crypto segment has been in turmoil today, as the most valuable coins turned significantly lower, leading to a mini-panic, but they rallied strongly off their slows as buyers stepped in the second half of the session.

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Bitcoin fell as low as $5100, for a 15% correction top-to-bottom, but it is now trading near the prior short-term support at $5400. As the long-term picture remains overbought, investors shouldn’t open new positions here, but traders could play a likely move towards the $6000 level, although we still advise small sizes, as correction risks remain elevated.

BTC/USD, 4-Hour Chart Analysis

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The other majors were also declining in early trading, led by Ripple, with only NEO and IOTA, holding up well during the sell-off.  Both of the latter coins faded away as the rest of the market recovered, but Ripple continued to suffer. For now, the long-term bullish picture is unchanged for the segment, but BTC’s overbought correction could still cause volatility in the coming period. Let’s see the short-term charts after the busy session.

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Analysis

Technical Analysis: NEO Jumps as Broad Markets Turns Lower

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As the new waves of regulatory changes keep on hitting the segment, the major cryptocurrencies are mostly lower today. After the major update of Ethereum, and the recent surge in the price of Bitcoin, choppy conditions developed, with no clear short-term trend in most of the coins.

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NEO is the best performing major today, as it surged back to the $30 level after a frustrating period that was dominated by a downward drift.  The coin is now just below the key resistance level, and it could be ready to test the $34 level, with a further target found at $40. The long-term picture still looks positive, with strong support levels at $27 and $25.

NEO/USDT, Daily Chart Analysis

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Ethereum is in a consolidation after the encouraging rally towards the end of last week, while Bitcoin is also correction after its stellar rise. The two largest coins pulled the rest of the majors lower, while Ripple remained very volatile after touching the $0.30 level yesterday, trading below the $0.26 again.

Litecoin, Dash, Monero, and IOTA are all a bit lower today, while Ethereum Classic found some relative strength, although it remains stuck in a declining short-term trend. All in all, the segment is still in a clear uptrend, so let’s see which coins are the most promising regarding the short-term picture.

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Analysis

Technical Analysis: Ripple Breaks Out Amid Ethereum Upgrade

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The major cryptocurrencies are on the rise once again today, with Ethereum’s major Byzantium update being in the center of attention. The second largest blockchain network has been updated through a hard fork, as usual, and the successful lock-in led to an initial surge in the price of the ETH token. The digital currency recovered above the $330 level after Sunday’s pull-back, but so far it failed to durably break-out above the prior swing high just above $340.

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With the long-term momentum readings still being neutral, the coin could be on the verge of testing the $380 resistance soon, with the all-time high near $400 being the last major technical obstacle. Below $330 further support is found at $300 and $285.

ETH/USD, Daily Chart Analysis

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Bitcoin is also on the rise after dipping below $5500 during the weekend, and the most valuable coin is joined in the rally by Ripple, which most likely finished its short-term correction and could be ready for another leg higher. The other majors are also generally higher, with NEO and IOTA being ahead of the pack, while the rest of the market trading near unchanged. As the broad rally seems to be well and alive, let’s see how the short-term charts are shaping up.

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