Merges, purges, surges

Giving you the TLDR on Ethereum's upgrade and what it means for your portfolio

Good morning. As you know, the Btchcoin team loves a good GIF here and there. But as we've recently learned, GIFs and the multi-million dollar company behind them, GIPHY, are falling out of fashion.

Invented in 1989, GIFs are millennials, so we can't help but think their demise has something to do with Gen Z...🤔

In this edition:⚡️ Major upgrade 🔮 Peek into the future🎬 IRL Hannah Montana

— Vindhya Kolluru, Editor

Btchcoin Ticker - September 19, 2022

* Market data as of 9:00 pm ET Sunday, September 18..


Ethereum undergoes a long-awaited upgrade

Guy telling woman "You hear about the merge?"

Credit: imgflip

If the mansplainers haven't gotten to you yet, you might have missed out on some of the biggest news in the cryptocurrency industry: Last Wednesday, Ethereum (the blockchain that hosts the digital token Ether, or ETH) underwent a major overhaul, in a move that caused the price of ETH to drop.

First, some background: Ethereum is the blockchain network that facilitates various transactions involving ETH, like NFT trades (remember the expensive apes?) Fun fact: It was Canadian Vitalik Buterin who co-founded the platform in 2013 when he was just a teenager.

Anyway, to create these tokens, engineers "mine" them using a proof-of-work (PoW) model. To boil it down, it's a process that requires powerful computers to run software that then solves complex calculations. The downside? PoW gobbles up a vast amount of energy.

  • We're talking about enough energy to power entire countries. For a long time, critics have argued that the amount of energy it takes to mine ETH or Bitcoin comes at a serious cost to the environment.

Now, onto The Merge...dun dun dun: Ethereum transitioned from a PoW model to what's known as a proof-of-stake (PoS) model. We won't get into the nitty-gritty, but the biggest difference between the two models is their energy consumption. The switch, which has been years in the making, has resulted in a whopping 99% decline in energy usage.

Why it's a big deal: The overhaul has been compared to changing the engine of a plane while it is being flown. Ethereum handles thousands of apps with billions of dollars in them, so it was critical to get all the details just right.

  • As Katie Talati, director of research at asset management firm Arca, told the WSJ: “Because there’s so much potential for value to be lost, they had to be very careful with each step of the road map to make sure that there weren’t any issues or any flaws."

What this means for investors: It's been a game of wait-and-see for ETH prices. The all-time high of ETH was $6,513.45 in November 2021, but its price has been sliding since. As of writing, the price of ETH sits at $1,733.71 a 53% drop from just six months ago. After the upgrade, the price of ETH dropped against Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar. With that said, experts think the price of ETH will rise again once the dust has settled.

— Vindhya Kolluru

THE 411

It's about damn start planning for retirement

The 411 dishes, well, the 411 on a personal finance topic you need to know by cutting through the jargon and empowering you to take control of your finances. Have a topic you want us to tackle? Let us know!

Want to be ready for Lizzo's next concert or Destiny Child's 2060 reunion tour? Then you should already be thinking about how much $$$ you’ll have in retirement. Btchcoin recently spoke to Lisa Hannam, executive editor of, on how to plan for your retirement in your twenties and beyond. (And don't worry, we won't tell you to quit avocado toasts or your daily latte habit 😉.)

Why it matters: You’re probably wondering why start planning for retirement when you can hardly pay rent, student debt and bills. It's stressful and anxiety-inducing to even think about long-term saving when you are earning probably the least amount of money in your lifetime. However, Hannam wants you to consider the ✨magic✨ of compound interest.

  • "Just a couple of dollars in the bank every month goes a long way," Hannam tells us. "Consider this: If you put away $100 a week starting at age 20, you should have $600,000 in your RRSP by the time you’re 65, with an assumed 4% rate of return." (That's probably enough to pay for VIP tickets to see Beyoncé, Harry Styles and BTS in concert.)

Drawing up a retirement planning strategy: Any investment strategy will come with risk. When you’re investing for the long term, the market will ebb and flow, so it's first important to figure out what type of investor you are. Like the emotional rollercoaster of The Avengers movies, you’ll probably have many highs and lows during your retirement planning journey. In addition to risk, the decision of how to invest is at the forefront of many young investors. Depending on your goals, risk tolerance and how much you earn, there are a few ways you can save for retirement.

  • You can open a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) or try using a robo-advisor or broker. Hannam also urges young people to not fully depend on the Canada Pension Plan: It's a supplement, but won't be your primary source of retirement income.

The bottom line: Let's face it, retirement planning when money is tight and the economy is a hot mess can be daunting. But you can always start small. Hannam recommends at least setting up an emergency fund. And remember, it is never too late to start saving whether for an emergency fund or for retirement.

➡️ Click here for a shareable link to this story (or to bookmark for later).

— Michelle Musindo

Other things we read and we liked

🔥 Toronto-born singer Jessie Reyez dropped her sophomore album, Yessie, on Friday — and each one of the 11 tracks is a hit. Listen to it here.

✍️ The fact that Gen Z never learned how to read cursive has some serious repercussions, according to The Atlantic.

💅 Does being an It Girl have a place in 2022?

🍝 The Michelin guide has arrived in Canada for the first time, awarding 13 restaurants in Toronto its coveted stars. (For a little backstory, this is how the tire company became the world's fine dining authority.)


Product manager by day and TikTok creator by night, Ashna Mankotia is living the Hannah Montana life

Ashna Mankota

Credit: Ashna Mankotia

Today, Btchcoin is spotlighting Ashna Mankotia. When she's not at her desk working as a senior product manager at Morning Brew, an American media company best known for its flagship newsletter of the same name, Toronto-based Mankotia is (like many of us) on TikTok.

But Mankotia isn't just scrolling on the app—she shares snippets of her life, nuggets of wisdom, and hauls to an audience of over 95,000 followers.

If she had to give one piece of advice: "Whatever you're thinking is your dream life, think bigger. Be confident enough to know that good things will come your way and that you will have the tools to navigate that when life gets hard. It sounds so cheesy, but a big part of attaining success (whatever that means to you) is you really have to believe that it's possible."

Her most recent splurge: "I bought a Coach bag as a promotion gift."

On her bookshelf: "A book I recently read is A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza. In general, my favourite genre for books is Hallmark movies (read: white people in small towns falling in love). If I'm reading non-fiction, it's typically articles and blogs."

➡️ In our Q&A, we discuss the viral video that helped grow Mankotia's TikTok audience, her personal finance journey and the advice she would give her younger self. Click here to keep reading.

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