Price analysis: Ethereum more inclined to break to the upside

Trading
January 14, 2020

Fundamental analysis

The timeline of Ethereum 2.0 launch is not clear yet. The developers have agreed to Vitalik Buterin’s proposal for a faster switch from Eth 1.0 to Eth 2.0, with everything, likely, being done in the summer this year. 

The latest StarkEx measurements showed that the Ethereum’s scalability can be 2000x larger thanks to the improvements made in the recent hard fork update (Istanbul). 

In terms of figures, the improvement will allow the Ethereum platform to process 9,000 transactions per second (tps), with a 75 gas/trade as opposed to the 2,000 tps with 300 gas/trade, measured before the Istanbul update.

Istanbul is the eighth update for the blockchain and its implementation started on December 8, 2019. The update also included the switch of the Ethereum network to a scalable Proof of Stake (PoS) network. Another update is expected to come in the first quarter of this year.

The blockchain’s capacity to increase its scalability is related to the introduction of scalability solutions, Sharding and Plasma. These solutions will increase Ethereum’s scalability when the switch to Proof of Stake is completed.

Vitalik Buterin was recently talking about Sharding and Plasma roles in the network. Sharding is the first layer scalability solution which utilises micro chains to verify various transactions on the network. This means that not all nodes in the blockchain have to validate transactions, as a group of nodes can do it separately.

According to Buterin, Plasma is the second layer solution which operates in a way similar to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Plasma enables branches to be used off-chain to handle high-volume smart contracts. He added that Sharding and Plasma operate complementarily.

In his recent blog post, Buterin talked about scalable data chains. He strongly believes that this chain would provide fraud-proof-free data and could do incredible things in contrast to the traditional non-shared blockchains. 

He also explained his trust in the method as he mentioned that the chains preserve more of the data in a much safer way. In the design, which he says, the single base chain would allow the users to pay by sending a unique transaction that enables users to know about the availability of the data.

The presented model involved the idea of shared blockchain, which utilizes availability checks, rather than communities. As an example of the model, Buterin mentioned an Ethereum-like non-scalable network, where anyone can post transactions.

This model would allow block proposers or miners to verify the data availability for the transactions. He added that such a method would improve the security in the age of crimes, and it would also keep an invader from breaching into anyone else’s checks.

Buterin also said that these chain methods would let us build layers on top of them because the blocks, which would get past the availability controls, would form a bottom layer.

In addition to data scaling, this model would also allow faster computations, said Vitalik. He said that the “layer two relying on synchrony assumptions” can be substituted with this technique, and would also ensure consistency in having ~128 randomly picked validators, which would keep and download the data.

Technical analysis

Price-wise, Ethereum has followed Bitcoin in moving higher in the previous week. In the last five days, the world’s second biggest digital coin has registered three failed attempts to move past the $148 mark, a first of many levels of resistance located in this area. 

As seen in the ETH/USD price chart, the levels around the $150 handle have created a confluence of resistance, consisting of first horizontal resistance at $148, the down-slipping wedge resistance at $150, and the second horizontal resistance at $153. Moreover, the 100-DMA sits just below the $160 mark. Historically, levels around $150 have always played an important role.

ETH USD price chart
ETH/USD daily chart


At this moment, the focus is on the descending wedge. Given that the price action has spent the last five months within the wedge, a break to either side is likely to trigger a big move. Judging by the current state of the market, it looks like Ethereum is more inclined to break to the upside, and potentially target the 200-DMA at $185.

On the downside, the first level of support is located at around $134 while the wedge support currently trades at $117. The mid-term target for the bears is the $100 handle.

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