Crypto execs prefer to have amusing, generally at neophytes’ expense. However when the joke is obscure sufficient — on this case wrapped ether memes — it might have actual penalties.
Over the weekend, crypto Twitter was alight with riffs on the wave of insolvencies which have plagued the business, by pretending that wrapped ether (WETH) was one way or the other a danger to Ethereum. Spoiler: It’s not.
However when sufficient in any other case severe folks pile on to a meme, it might metastasize into market-moving “information.” As an example, Gnosis co-founder Martin Koeppelmann joined within the enjoyable on Sunday.
For crypto natives with an understanding of WETH and the way ether is burned post-EIP-1559, the joke is pretty apparent.
To evaluate: WETH is an ERC-20 model of ether that can be utilized in sensible contracts like Uniswap. It dates back to 2017 and isn’t in any means like a custodial model of ether. For all intents and functions, it is ether. As such, there’s no connection between WETH and fluctuations within the ETH burn price as a result of transaction charges. Ether used as WETH will not be being burned and can’t depeg.
However the joke received out of hand. Even high quality crypto sources like Bloomberg have been taken in. Bloomberg reported that “crypto watchers additionally pointed to worries about wrapped Ether, which is supposed to have the identical worth as Ether whereas permitting entry to extra purposes,” with the caveat merely that “some stories prompt the issues stemmed from joke Twitter posts.”
In truth, there have been no precise worries. It was 100% a joke from the beginning.
Koeppelmann also came clean, explaining the joke and why it made no literal sense within the first place.
To be abundantly clear: WETH is unruggable. It’s not like wBTC — wrapped bitcoin on Ethereum, which depends on a central custodian, BitGo, though there are many misconceptions across the security of wBTC as properly. WETH can at all times be unwrapped to ETH on a one-to-one foundation, as certain because the Ethereum community itself — it’s baked into the immutable code and there’s no counterparty.
Staked ether withdrawals are the highest precedence
This one was much less of a meme and extra of a misunderstanding, but additionally one propagated by random folks on Twitter. The “concern” was that one way or the other the withdrawal of staked ether deliberate within the subsequent main Ethereum improve, referred to as Shanghai, has been delayed.
That was information to Ethereum builders, reminiscent of Prysmatic Labs’ Terence Tsao, developer of the main Ethereum proof-of-stake consensus implementation, Prysm, who tweeted that “withdrawal stays the very best precedence for Prysm.”
“As core devs, our largest duty in the present day is to allow stakers to withdraw their funds as quick and as securely as attainable,” he stated.
The Shanghai improve is anticipated to happen roughly six months after the Merge, or across the second quarter of 2023. Some pointed to a change within the Ethereum Basis web site relating to the timeline, however the Ethereum Basis isn’t within the enterprise of specifying dates as a result of they don’t management Ethereum — its growth is decentralized.
One of the simplest ways to maintain tabs on what’s really taking place with Shanghai is to comply with its progress on GitHub or tune into Ethereum core developer calls — the most recent was on Nov. 24, and was summarized by Tim Beiko.
As soon as once more, beware the memes — some observers took the chance to show the whole idea of staked ether right into a joke.
Withdrawals are disabled by design till the Shanghai improve — that is neither new nor remotely alarming.
The ethical of the story: Crypto memes happen fast. In case you don’t cease to go searching every now and then — or, say, are celebrating Thanksgiving weekend with your loved ones — you could miss it.
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