Bitcoin is still down on 21-month highs set directly after the SEC bungled its spot ETF announcement on Tuesday. Ethereum, on the other hand, is way up.
Ether (ETH) has rallied more than 16% in that time and is now easily the year-to-date best performing top-20 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Bitcoin (BTC) is so far in second-place, with about half those returns.
Markets sold the news one day early due to the SEC’s unauthorized announcement and appear to have simultaneously bought the rumor on ether ETFs.
Ethereum Classic (ETC) — the original Ethereum hard fork in 25th position — is however having a moment. The blockchain’s native token ETC has spiked nearly 50% over the past day.
Due to the timing, there doesn’t appear to be any real rhyme or reason for ETC to be climbing so quickly.
The devil’s advocate would say that Ethereum Classic is gearing up for a hard fork later this month tipped to better align the network’s EVM with Ethereum’s, which could help inspire projects to work with the chain.
And the network’s hashrate did spike to all-time highs following Ethereum’s switched to proof-of-stake in late 2022, as former ETH miners sought a substitute revenue stream at which to direct their GPU mining rigs.
Ether has jumped from $2,200 to $2,650 this week. Ethereum Classic has gone from $20 to $30.
Much of Ethereum Classic’s post-Merge hashrate has stuck around, despite the network only seeing around 30,000 in transactions per day (about the baseline for Bitcoin Cash).
For scale, Litecoin is currently processing more than half a million transactions per day (boosted by the network’s own brand of inscriptions) while Ethereum mainnet handles about twice as much, per BitInfoCharts.
Still, Ethereum Classic only boasts less than 15% of Ethereum’s hashrate recorded just before the Merge.
ETHPoW, the hard fork of Ethereum from around the Merge meant to compete with Ethereum Classic, currently has about one-tenth of the latter’s hashrate.
Read more: Grayscale Still Deciding What To Do With ETHPoW
In fact, until yesterday’s formal SEC approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, ETC had returned nothing over the past year.
The more likely explanation is that traders are looking to frontrun the next big media narrative around crypto: the SEC approving spot bitcoin ETFs means an eventual greenlight for spot ether funds.
Due to illiquid markets, dumb money or widespread left-curving, Ethereum Classic has tagged along for the ride but ended up dominating ether for gains over the short-term.
Grayscale does already sell exposure to the token through one of its trusts, and the firm is now set to convert its $29 billion bitcoin trust into an ETF.
Some reckon fund issuers might soon seek approval for ETFs for other cryptocurrencies, including XRP and solana.
Still, the odds of fund issuers lining up to launch ETFs for Ethereum Classic are slim. Although stranger things have happened in crypto.
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