Ether Trailing Bitcoin Since CME Futures Launch: Technical Analysis

Did the CME's ether futures launch coincide with a market top, relative to bitcoin? It sure looks like it based on the chart pattern.

Mar 10, 2021 at 1:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:23 p.m. UTC

The outperformance of ether (ETH) over the past year relative to bitcoin (BTC) appears to have reversed since the Chicago-based commodities exchange CME launched its new ether futures contract in early February, an analysis of chart patterns shows.

ETH put in a relative bottom versus BTC around the end of 2019. The near 700% increase in ETH versus BTC's 500% rise over the past year could reflect investor enthusiasm for decentralized finance (DeFi), which seeks to transform traditional financial products in a decentralized manner and largely sits atop the Ethereum blockchain.

  • ETH has underperformed BTC over the past month, after the launch of CME ETH futures in early February of this year.
  • A similar situation occurred in BTC, which underperformed ETH after its CME futures launch in late 2017. (Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chair Christopher Giancarlo even said in October 2019 that top U.S. officials believed at the time the CME bitcoin futures would help pop a perceived bubble in the cryptocurrency's price, "and it worked.")
  • ETH put in a relative bottom versus BTC around the end of 2019 as investors took notice of the booming DeFi space.
  • ETH is currently at resistance relative to BTC, while the downtrend from 2018 to 2020 is consolidating.
  • Over the short term, BTC should continue to outshine ETH. Longer-term, the downtrend of ETH/BTC is consolidating (process of reversing).

Chart shows the price ratio between ETH and BTC turned upward in late 2019 but has recently reversed trend.


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