In past years, the Ethereum team had expectations of achieving a proof-of-stake network earlier. However, mining was preserved as a partial solution for the network.
The decreased difficulty, however, may not cause a longer-term mining bonanza since the Constantinople hard fork also lowered the reward to 2 ETH per block. With the reduced incentive, mining picked up only slightly to above 151 TH/s. A recent unofficial poll on Twitter shows mixed attitudes.
The Ethereum network still handles around 529,000 transactions in 24 hours, according to Blocktivity data. In a relatively rare pattern, Bitcoin (BTC) carries more transactions – above 674,000 in 24 hours. Previously, Ethereum’s network was the more active one due to the movements of tokens, but after the drop in initial coin offering activity and the relatively low distributed app (dApp) usage, the number of transactions has declined.
ETH market prices are also stagnating, hovering around $137 after the most recent rally failed to take the asset nearer the $200 range. ETH trading, however, happens with volumes of above $4.2 billion in 24 hours as the asset participates in multiple trading pairs. ETH accounts for around 13% of all volumes and flows into several large assets, including EOS.