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Ether price hits $4,000 for the first time in more than two years

The BlockThe Block2024/03/08 15:34
By:James Hunt

The price of ether has hit $4,000 for the first time since December 2021.The milestone comes amid ongoing speculation over the prospect of a spot ether ETF in the U.S. this year — but opinions on approval vary.

The price of ether has reached $4,000 for the first time in over two years. This comes amid ongoing speculation that spot ether exchange-traded funds could be approved in the U.S.

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is up 4% during the last 24 hours, 15% over the past week and 68% over the past month, according to The Block’s price page .

Ether last traded at this level in December 2021, the month after it reached an all-time high of $4,868 on Coinbase. Ether subsequently fell 82% to a bear market low of $880 in June 2022, impacted by crypto market turmoil, including the collapse of the Terra ecosystem and the subsequent bankruptcy of crypto exchange FTX .

Meanwhile, the GM 30 Index , representing a selection of the top 30 cryptocurrencies, increased by 3% to 150.04 over the last 24 hours.

Spot ether ETF speculation

With the spot bitcoin ETFs launching successfully in January, attention has turned toward another narrative for crypto markets: the prospect of a spot ether ETF in the U.S. Big-name firms, including Fidelity , BlackRock and Franklin Templeton have applied for a spot ether ETF over the past few months.

Growing speculation over the potential approval of such products this year has seen the price of ether outperform that of bitcoin in 2024 — registering 73% year-to-date gains compared to bitcoin’s 60%.

Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas recently suggested a 70% possibility for approval by May 23 — the final deadline for the Securities and Exchange Commission to rule on a spot ether ETF application from Ark and 21Shares, the first that was filed.

Balchunas’ view was shared by Standard Chartered at the time, with the bank predicting ether could reach the $4,000 level if it mimicked bitcoin’s pre-spot ETF approval performance. However, investment bank TD Cowen previously said the SEC is unlikely to approve spot ether ETFs "any time soon," and JPMorgan doesn't see more than a 50% chance of a spot ether ETF approval by May.

Earlier this week, Variant Fund Chief Legal Officer Jake Chervinsky added that the SEC’s denial of spot ether ETFs by the May deadline is more likely than people think — due to legal issues and the policy environment in Washington D.C.

While many in the crypto community have cited BlackRock’s record of just one ETF denial in its history as a positive indicator of a spot ether ETF approval, Chervinsky disagreed. “‘BlackRock always wins’ is a lazy bull take,” the former Compound Labs General Counsel said.

In January, SEC Chair Gary Gensler stated that the agency’s approval of spot bitcoin ETFs was limited to the single cryptocurrency and “shouldn’t be read to be anything more than that.” Further uncertainties remain surrounding spot ether ETF approvals, given Gensler's stance that cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin are securities.

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Disclaimer: everything in the article represents the author's point of view and has nothing to do with this platform. This article is not intended to be used as a reference for making investment decisions.

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