Nothing to Hide

Ethereum Reaches $3,500 Just Days Before Dencun Upgrade

Ukraine seizes $19,500 from crypto wallet dedicated to supporting Russian forces

Ethereum Reaches $3,500 Just Days Before Dencun Upgrade

Ethereum is starting the week having inched its way past $3,500, marking a 3% gain since this time yesterday, according to CoinGecko data.

At the time of writing, the Ethereum price is $3,506.38, which means that ETH has gained 15% in the past week. This is the highest Ethereum has been since January 2022, when it was coming down from the late 2021 bull run. And 91% of ETH held in wallets is now in the money. That means all but 9% of ETH has appreciated in value since it was purchased, according to blockchain analytics firm IntotheBlock.

Ethereum developers are now only 9 days away from pushing the Dencun upgrade to mainnet on March 13. It’s long been said that the upgrade, which will introduce proto-danksharding to the network, will make transactions much faster and cheaper. Last week a handful of devs told Decrypt the change will be striking, adding that this is the kind of upgrade they’ve been “dreaming of.”

It tends to be the case that when investors are bullish on Ethereum, DeFi projects see a lot more action. That’s very much been the case this time around. The total value of assets in DeFi protocols has reached $94 billion as of Monday morning—the highest it’s been since TerraUSD crashed in 2022, according to DeFi Llama.

In super simple terms. the TerraUSD crash and the contagion that followed scared a lot of money out of DeFi protocols. The total value locked in DeFi projects had been $132 billion just before the Terra collapse, according to DeFi Llama.

A quick refresher: The Terra ecosystem was able to grow so large so fast because it promised upwards of 20% returns on deposits. When it suddenly crashed in May 2022, it took lots of other projects and firms with it and made traders wary of protocols that promised sky-high returns.

That wariness sent the TVL as low as $36 billion in October 2023. But as of this writing, assets in the DeFi ecosystem have nearly tripled in value. Ethereum has seen 64% growth over the past month—which outpaces the 54% growth it’s seen in price. And Solana isn’t far behind it, having seen 57% growth in the past 30 days after its native SOL token has gained 34% over the same period.