Why is Ether (ETH) price up today?


Ether (ETH), the native token of the Ethereum network,  is witnessing a breakout on the back of increasing institutional interest in the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap. The increased bullish sentiment pushed Ether price up by 23.7% over the past 30 days. The fact that ETH trades above $2,300 could indicate that increased attention is shifting toward Ether. Year to date, ETH price is up by 96.5%. 

Ether price. Source: TradingView

Let’s review a few of the reasons for Ether’s price strength.

Institutional interest soars as traders anticipate a spot ETH ETF

A surge in traders’ interest in Ether began on Nov. 1 when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) acknowledged Grayscale Investment’s application to convert its Ethereum trust into an ETF.

The commission’s decision responded to a direct court order mandating it to review Grayscale’s pending ETF applications. To date, the SEC has not confirmed a spot crypto ETF. On Dec. 5, the SEC pushed the Grayscale spot Ether ETF decision until January 2024.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, filed for a spot Ether ETF on Nov. 9. The confirmation sent Ether price to a 6 month high above the $2,000 resistance. BlackRock filed the S-1 form with the SEC on Nov. 16.

On Dec. 7, a total of seven spot Ether ETFs are filed and pending with the SEC.

Pending spot Ether ETF List. Source: Bloomberg

Many analysts anticipate that the SEC will first approve a spot Bitcoin ETF in early 2024. Once that happens, many crypto analysts see a spot Ether ETF approval shortly after. In the past few weeks, the narrative of Ether turning bullish ahead of a ETH spot ETF approval has grown in popularity and with Bitcoin (BTC) price finding resistance at the $45,000 level, some traders have turned their focus toward ETH.

Related: Lawmakers’ fear and doubt drives proposed crypto regulations in US

The anticipation of approval is leading to increased institutional capital inflows. Over the last 10 weeks, there was a total of $1.76 billion of inflows, which is the highest on record since October 2021. The record inflows also produced net flows of Ether, hitting $10 million for the first time this year and $30 million in the past-week.

Crypto market inflows by asset. Source: CoinShares

Ethereum network revenue and fees increase

The Ethereum network’s decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem also witnessed a boost in daily fees and revenue, reaching a 180-day high in both categories on Dec. 7. In 30 days, fees grew over 155%, in tandem with Ether’s price growth. With the increase in Ether fees, the Ethereum network revenue is up 178.2% in the past 30 days, which equates to $2.92 billion annualized.

Ethereum network fees and revenue. Source: TokenTerminal

The Ethereum network’s growth has increased gas fees and turned the network deflationary again. The last time Ethereum network emissions were inflationary was on Nov. 8, showing sustained activity growth for the past 30 days. If this trend continues, Ether’s coin supply will contract by -0.47% a year.

Ether supply. Source: Ultra sound money

Related: Bitcoin HODL Waves: 2020 bull market buyers now control 16% of supply

Bitcoin price action lifts Ethereum price and investor sentiment

While Ether price did break through the key $2,300 level, it continues to trail Bitcoin’s 162% year-to-date gains. Despite profit taking from by short-term sellers, the increase in trading volume has helped Bitcoin maintain the $40,000 range.

Bitcoin is maintaining dominance in the crypto market before the supply halving in April 2024. On Dec. 7, Bitcoin reached a year-to-date high of 53.89% versus the entirety of the crypto market.

Bitcoin dominance versus the total crypto market. Source: NewHedge

Typically, when Bitcoin dominance plateaus, there is a rush to altcoins and other cryptocurrencies. According to independent analyst Jacob Canfield, the ETH/BTC pair “ran the montly lows yesterday and is putting in a very strong daily candle.” Canfield also points to “lots of thin air up to the $3,300 – $3,500 zone.”

While the current market looks healthy, macro factors like future rate hikes and the potential U.S. crackdown on the crypto sector may slightly weigh on Ether’s price. Factors such as a spot Bitcoin or Ether ETF approval, positive developments in clarifying regulators stance on crypto and a strong U.S. economy may prove to be catalysts for price growth.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.