The upcoming Ethereum (ETH) Merge is one of the most talked-about developments in the cryptocurrency ecosystem as the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap undergoes the difficult transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).
One protocol whose fate is largely tied to the successful completion of the Merge is Lido DAO (LDO), a liquid staking platform that allows users to tap into the value of their assets for use in decentralized finance and earn yield from staking.
Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that since LDO hit a low of $0.42 on June 30, its price has climbed 107.6% to hit a daily high of $0.874 on July 9, but at the time of writing the altcoin has pulled back to $0.65.
Three reasons for the sharp turnaround for LDO include the successful Merge on the Sepolia testnet, the continued increase in Ether deposits on the platform and the slow recovery of staked Ether (stETH) price in comparison to Ether's spot price.
Sepolia testnet merge
Migrating to proof-of-stake has been a challenging process, but it came one step closer to completion on July 6 with the successful Merge of the PoW and PoS chains on Ethereum’s Sepolia testnet.
BREAKING - Ethereum completes another successful test of The Merge on Sepolia— bankless.eth (@BanklessHQ) July 6, 2022
Don't sleep. pic.twitter.com/YeQfghmm5O
Following this development, there is only one more Merge trial to conduct on the Goerli testnet, and if that goes down without any major issues the Ethereum mainnet will be next.
Since Lido specializes in providing liquid staking services for Ethereum, each step closer to the full transition to PoS benefits the liquid staking platform because Ether holders who want a less complicated way to stake their tokens can utilize Lido’s services and not have to worry about token lock-ups.
Ether deposits continue to rise
Proof that interest in staking on Lido has continued to climb can be found in data provided by Dune Analytics, which shows an increasing amount of Ether deposited on the protocol.
As shown on the chart above, as of July 7 there were 4.128 million Ether staked through Lido.
stETH begins to recover
Another factor helping to boost the value of LDO has been the recovery of stETH price, which lost its peg to Ether over the past few months as distressed funds sold their stETH in an attempt to stave of insolvency.
According to data from Dune Analytics, the price of stETH is now trading at about 97.2% of the price of Ether, up from a low of 93.6%, which occurred on June 18.
While stETH has not fully recovered its price parity with Ether, its move in the right direction combined with less selling pressure from forced liquidations appears to have helped restore some investor faith in the token.
This, in turn, has benefited LDO since the protocol is the largest liquid Ether staking provider and issuer of stETH.
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