Ethereum Merge can trigger high volatility, BitMEX CEO warns


The Ethereum Merge is one of the most anticipated events in the crypto space this year. Because of this, crypto firms are on the lookout for any hiccups that may occur as the newly upgraded Ethereum network comes to life. 

In a Cointelegraph interview, Alexander Höptner, the CEO of crypto exchange BitMEX, shared how their trading platform is preparing for the Merge, talked about the potential of institutional adoption after the transition to proof-of-stake (PoS) and gave his thoughts on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). 

According to Höptner, apart from checking all the boxes on standard company preparations ahead of big events, the most important thing is to pay close attention to what might happen and make sure that their services are working. He explained: 

“You have to be just, let’s say, awake and see what happens. There’s a chance for high volatility. And so you have to make sure that your services are up and running. […] We don’t expect any major disruptions outside of volatility.”

When asked about potential proof-of-work (PoW) forks, the BitMEX executive commented that a fork will be good as long as it’s supported by a strong community. Höptner highlighted that a major risk for forks is not having enough miners’ support.

Another topic brought up during the interview is the matter of institutional adoption after the Merge. With major players ramping up their services targeting institutional players, the BitMEX CEO believes that a PoS Ethereum is more attractive to organizations as it addresses the environmental narrative that institutions are mostly concerned with. He said that: 

“I’m absolutely sure that this will further push for institutional adoption and also mass market adoption because also the generally the current generation pays close attention to the whole efficiency, environmental development.”

The executive also noted that big financial players are already dabbling in crypto, mainly with BTC and ETH. He said that a lot of institutions are already proposing 1 to 2% crypto in portfolios, and Höptner believes that this will further increase. 

Related: ETH Merge: CoinGecko co-founder shares strategy for forked tokens

Contrary to popular belief that the market is currently in a crypto winter, the BitMEX CEO shared their team’s belief that what the industry is currently witnessing is not a bear market but rather a slight correction that is often seen in traditional finance. He said that: 

“Beforehand it was very overheated in the market. Money was too cheap, and this is now a slight correction, but we are very bullish on Bitcoin, very bullish on ETH, especially for proof-of-stake.”

Overall, Höptner believes that the Ethereum Merge is a positive development in the industry, and reiterated that their team is bullish on the value of ETH. The CEO also highlighted that Ethereum has a very solid community, and ETH may eventually surpass BTC. “I think it can it can definitely, let’s say surpass Bitcoin in relative growth,” he said.