3 Crypto Stocks to Watch as Ethereum Upgrades Dencun

Ethereum (ETH) has moved quickly in 2024, along with Bitcoin (BTC). As of Mar 8, ETH is around $3900, up 70.7% year-to-date. Second only to Bitcoin in crypto popularity, Ethereum is a blockchain-powered, open-ended decentralized software platform.

After the Shanghai Upgrade in 2023, Ethereum switched from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake blockchain validation. Ethereum miners will rely on Ether holders as validators under the proof-of-stake method, adding security. Proof-of-stake lets Ether holders use their funds as collateral to validate transactions and create new blocks, saving energy and computation. Trading has become tougher, and Ether has been locked up more.

The addition of additional institutional investments, such as traditional financial heavyweights bidding for ETH ETFs, has also been significant. However, its current system overhaul may change everything and send the stock much above its May 2020 high of $4400. The Mar 13 Dencun upgrade to the ETH blockchain will make it a better database for layer-2 blockchains to store data. It will lower blockchain transaction costs and increase mainstream customer demand.

Analysts worldwide believe that as Bitcoin grows, Ether will follow suit with the impetus from upgrades and ETH apps and reach its all-time high. It may exceed $10,000 by year's end.

With Ethereum already making good of the market, equities exposed to this open-source, decentralized blockchain technology may be worth watching. Here are some. These have Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), #2 (Buy), or #3 (Hold). Complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. MARA mines Bitcoin and Ethereum. Marathon Digital expects 238.1% earnings increase next year. Over the past 60 days, its Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has increased 450%. Marathon Digital is #3 on Zacks.

CME Group. CME: One of the world's leading futures exchanges, CME offers a variety of derivatives contracts and Ethereum investment possibilities. CME Group expects 2.8% earnings growth this year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings rose 1.3% in 60 days. CME Group is #3 on Zacks.

BlackRock, Inc. BLK: One of the world's largest investment managers and one of the first traditional market companies to join the Bitcoin ETF race in June 2023 and get it approved this January, BlackRock has applied for spot ETF on ETH.

BlackRock expects 5.2% earnings growth this year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings rose 3.7% in 60 days. Zacks ranks BlackRock #3.