There were numerous myths and baseless assumptions around the Ethereum Merge, and one of them was the spike in selling pressure from active Ethereum miners that will try to exit the network ahead of everyone else.
ETH miners remain loyal
The creator of Ethereum could not hide his amusement when talking about the behavior of cryptocurrency miners on the network as the hashrate of the Ethereum network did not evaporate ahead of the Merge and even dropped by 15%.
Looks like the "hashrate will drop weeks before the merge due to miners rushing to sell ahead of everyone else" thesis has been proven completely false.— vitalik.eth (@VitalikButerin) September 14, 2022
I'm a bit surprised! I argued against a 50% drop but definitely expected like 5-10%. pic.twitter.com/l9OpT8fPFl
Buterin was previously arguing against 50%, but at the same time he expected at least a 5% or 10% decrease in the mining power on the network. The insignificance of the change in mining power on the network can be explained.
In cases of a rapid drop of the hashrate, blockchains tend to tune up the difficulty even though it takes some time. The remaining miners would receive most of the block rewards, which should make their mining operations slightly more profitable until the last block of the old version of the network is mined.
Bizarre funding rates
But while the situation on the mining market remained relatively calm, the funding rates of Ethereum futures reached all-time low hours ahead of the Merge. The negative funding rates are reflecting the current imbalance on the perpetual futures markets as the majority of participants are actively shorting Ethereum.
However, the spike in the number of short orders on the market is not a sign of an upcoming crash and historically works the opposite way, as opening long positions becomes even more beneficial.
What we are seeing today on Ethereum derivatives markets might be the result of active hedging of the existing spot positions from institutional and large retail investors.