Cointelegraph By Marcel Pechman
Ether (ETH) paved the way for lower transaction costs with the Berlin upgrade on April 15. However, traders already know that the Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559 is the most anticipated and controversial change scheduled for the upcoming London hard fork.
The EIP introduces a base fee that will be burned when a transaction occurs, while miners receive a tip for validating transactions. This move would severely pressure miners’ earnings, but the proposal aims to tame the skyrocketing gas fees that have plagued the network for the past two years.
The recent rally and conflict with miners boosted demand for protective options
Both the Berlin and London upgrades are needed to achieve the non-inflationary issuance schedule, which is the basis for the network’s Eth 2.0 proof of stake (POS) network. Thus, considering the 153% accumulated gains in 2021, one should expect investors to be more actively using short-term options as a hedging instrument.
While the neutral-to-bullish call (buy) option provides the buyer with upside price protection, the opposite occurs on the more bearish put (sell) options. By measuring each price level’s risk exposure, traders can gain insight into how bullish or bearish traders are positioned.
The total number of contracts set to expire on April 23 is 101,300, or $250 million at ETH’s $2,450 price. However, bulls are apparently in lower numbers as the call (buy) options represent only 35% of the open interest.
Bulls have a slight advantage after the recent rally
While the initial picture seems bearish, one must consider that the sub-$2,000 put (sell) options are almost worthless with less than eight days left. A more balanced situation emerges when the 17,600 bearish contracts currently trading below $10 each are removed.
The neutral-to-bearish put options still dominate with 58% of the remaining 80,500 Ether contracts. Meanwhile, the open interest stands at $197 million considering the current Ether price, giving the bears a $30 million advantage.
Bears might have been caught off-guard as Ether marked a new all-time high near $2,500. A meager 6,600 Ether put options are left at $2,450 and higher, only 10% of the total.
Meanwhile, the neutral-to-bullish call options amount to 19,500 Ether contracts. This difference represents a $31 million open interest favoring bulls. Albeit small, bears would only take a similar lead if Ether’s price moves down to $2,200 on April 23.
It is worth noting that $30 million is a large enough figure to incentivize the 10% price move needed to push Ether price down to $2,200 and shift the balance in favor of the bears.
This data suggests that the upcoming April 23 expiry of $250 million in options will take place without causing much of a stir.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Ether breaks $500 billion market cap for first time
Cointelegraph By Helen Partz
Ether (ETH), the second most-valued cryptocurrency after Bitcoin (BTC), has hit a major milestone amid the ongoing price rally.
On May 12, Ether price set another historic record, surging to as high as $4,346, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Ether’s market capitalization briefly surpassed $500 billion, reaching nearly $505 billion on Wednesday.
The new milestone marks Ether’s ongoing massive surge after ETH surpassed a $4,000 price mark for the first time in history on May 10. At the time of writing, ETH is trading at $4,317, up more than 6.4% over the past 24 hours and seeing massive gains of about 30% over the past seven days.
Following the parabolic surge, Ether is now larger than payment giant Visa or major investment bank JPMorgan in terms of market capitalization. At publishing time, Visa’s market valuation amounts to $481 billion, while JPMorgan’s market cap stands at $488 billion, according to data from financial information website MarketWatch.
Ether is the second cryptocurrency to hit a $500 billion market cap after Bitcoin. Ether took significantly less time to become a half a trillion-dollar asset. Launched in January 2009, Bitcoin took nearly 12 years to reach a $500 billion market capitalization in December 2020 at a price above $27,000. As the first version of an Ethereum cryptocurrency protocol was launched in July 2015, Ether is now five years and 10 months old.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin became a billionaire after the Ether price rose above $3,000 on May 3. Megan Kaspar, a crypto analyst and co-founder of digital asset investment firm Magnetic, believes that Ether is now on track to hit a price target between $8,000 and $10,000 by late 2021. The analyst previously reportedly predicted that ETH would hit $3,400 when the cryptocurrency was trading about $1,200.
Dogelon Mars, Shiba Inu and Dogecoin take the lead as Bitcoin consolidates
Cointelegraph By Jordan Finneseth
Cryptocurrency traders awoke to an altcoin bonanza as a handful of meme tokens, along with some of the more established projects, staged double-digit rallies while Bitcoin (BTC) price slowly recovers to the $57,000 level.
The biggest event generating conversations across the crypto sector and social media is the rise of dog-themed tokens inspired by the recent mega rally from Dogecoin (DOGE). The more than 20,000% rally from DOGE has shocked value investors across the world and many Bitcoin maximalist and equities traders are scratching their heads in confusion, given that DOGE was originally created as a simple joke.
While DOGE has experienced a 40% pullback since reaching an all-time high at $0.74 on May 8, other canine-themed tokens have jumped out ahead of the pack to take the lead while Dogecoin takes a breather.
Demand for Shiba Inu (SHIB) has been so intense that buyers overwhelmed the Binance system with deposits, causing the top exchange to run out of deposit addresses, while the Binance Smart Chain-based Australian Safe Shepherd (ASS) token has gained more than 400% in 24-hours. The Elon Musk-inspired Dogelon Mars (ELON) has al rallied 170%.
While Ether (ETH) continues to hold the $4,000 level as bulls successfully defend against any significant move to the downside, EOS, the once touted ‘Ethereum Killer’, has seen its price spike more than 40% after Block.one announced that it had secured $10 billion in funding for the creation of an EOS-based cryptocurrency exchange called Bullish Global.
Other notable altcoin gains include a 35% rally in the price of Yearn.finance (YFI) to establish a new record high at $77,041 and a 20% spike in the price of Reef (REEF) to an intraday high of $0.508.
The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $2.449 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 42.8%.
The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.
Ether balances on centralized exchanges fall to lowest level since June 2019
Cointelegraph By Martin Young
According to analysis from on-chain analytics provider Glassnode, the sum of Ethereum on exchanges has fallen to its lowest level for almost two years.
Glassnode estimates that just 13.3 million Ether is currently held on centralized exchanges, the lowest it has been since June 2019. As such, centralized platforms hold roughly $52.4 billion worth of ETH or 11.5% of Ethereum’s entire supply.
— glassnode alerts (@glassnodealerts) May 10, 2021
The number of Ether on centralized exchanges has fallen 30% in 9 months since peaking at 19 million ETH during September 2020.
A low balance of ETH on exchanges is typically understood to be bullish for the markets as it drives a reduction in supply relative to demand on popular trading platforms. Dwindling exchange balances suggest long-term investors are moving their assets into secure storage or locking their funds up to earn yields through decentralized finance protocols or staking.
In its Monday “Week on Chain” report, the data provider also noted that there has been some reduction in exposure to Bitcoin in favour of Ethereum.
Glassnode correlated the spending behavior of reasonably old Bitcoin unspent transaction outputs of between 6 months and 3 years, finding evidence that long-term investors could have been recently flipping into ETH:
“Whilst this is only an empirical observation (correlation causation), the distinct increase in these older BTC being spent back into circulation after a prolonged period of holding makes a compelling case.”
The report added that on-chain activity has increased significantly over the past four weeks for Ethereum amid Ether’s recent bullish price action. The total number of smart contract calls, Uniswap transactions, and daily transactions, have all seen notable upticks since the beginning of the year.
Daily transactions hit an all-time high of 1.63 million this week, representing a 22.5% increase over December 2017’s previous peak.
At the time of writing, Ethereum prices were trading at just below $3,900 — cooling from their recent all-time high of $4,220 on May 10.
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