Market Wrap: Ether Shoots to $3.3K While Bitcoin Hangs Below $60,000

The ether market is experiencing record numbers for spot, futures and DeFi. Bitcoin is in the backseat for now.

AccessTimeIconMay 3, 2021 at 8:47 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:50 p.m. UTC

Ether is excelling while the bitcoin sideshow is barely making gains. BNB breaks out on DeFi, going past $100 billion in market capitalization Monday.

  • Ether (ETH) trading around $3,290 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Gaining 10.7% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Ether’s 24-hour range: $2,941-$3,300 (CoinDesk 20)
  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $57,366 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Clmbing 0.76% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $56,427-$58,929 (CoinDesk 20)
  • Ether well above the 10-hour and the 50-hour moving averages on the hourly chart, a bullish signal for market technicians.
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Ether’s hourly price chart on Bitstamp since April 30.

Ether was trading around $3,290 as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET), gaining more than 10% over the prior 24 hours. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization is the crypto story for Monday because the asset hit a fresh record high of $3,300 around 18:15 UTC (2:15 p.m. ET), according to CoinGecko. 

“Ether has accelerated to new highs, reaching the targeted level of ~$3,000 from its April breakout far sooner than indicated,” noted technical analyst Katie Stockton, in Fairlead Strategies' Monday market update. “It is not wise to fight momentum, so we are reassuming a bullish near-term bias, somewhat reluctantly.”

Momentum, in the form of ether spot exchange volume, is clearly high. Ether volume tallied $35 billion Sunday, with bitcoin just a bit higher at $39 billion. Together, the two assets changed over $74 billion in value Sunday – and that’s on a weekend day. Traders will be eyeing volume for the rest of the business week to see where the price settles, particularly with ether continually hitting fresh levels on the spot market. 

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Bitcoin and ether spot volumes the past month, with Sunday’s closing date.

Meanwhile, over $20 billion in locked value inside decentralized finance, or DeFi, has been gained in the last month, according to data aggregator DeFi Pulse. The value of ether, combined with traders looking for yield that exists for parking crypto in DeFi, is a fundamentally bullish sign for the Ethereum network overall. 

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Bitcoin and ether spot volumes the past month, with Sunday’s closing date.

“ETH has been powering for the past two years on the booming DeFi industry with a total value locked above $70 billion,” noted Elie Le Rest, partner at quantitative trading fund ExoAlpha. Le Rest also mentioned to CoinDesk the ambitious ecosystem upgrade Ethereum 2.0 as part of the catalyst for traders to punch buy on ETH. “Despite the high fees experienced by the Ethereum network, the market is starting to reflect the anticipated growth of ETH 2.0 into the price of ETH.”

The ether futures market is hitting brand-new levels not seen before, pushing open interest up to $8.8 billion and topping the previous record of $8.4 billion reached April 15, according to analytics provider Skew.

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Open interest on the ether futures market the past three months.

“I bet the launch of ETH futures has increased the comfort level of the massive asset managers that have sent U.S. stock market capitalization north of 200% of GDP and global bond yields negative,” said George Clayton, managing partner at investment firm Cryptanalysis Capital. ”I think ETH is acting like an institutional platform.”

Bitcoin ekes out a gain

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Bitcoin’s hourly price chart on Bitstamp since April 30.

The price of bitcoin climbed Monday, going as high as $58,812 around 13:00 UTC (8 a.m. ET). That’s still over $6,000 off the record high for the world’s largest cryptocurrency, $64,829, set April 14. 

“Bitcoin has recovered a portion of its mid-April pullback, which marked a drop of 27% from all-time highs on a loss of intermediate-term momentum,” noted Fairlead’s Stockton.

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Bitcoin’s historical price the past month.

She doesn’t expect the price per 1 BTC to get back to previous lofty heights anytime soon – April was a record month for bitcoin’s price – May might not be so kind, however. “Short-term overbought conditions have returned below resistance of $62,000-$65,000, which presents a near-term hurdle,” added Stockton. “We will assume a bearish short-term bias.” 

BNB, MKR and other markets

According to data aggregator CoinGecko, the Binance coin token (BNB) has surpassed $100 billion in market capitalization, reaching as high as $104 billion as of press time. It’s currently priced at over $673 per coin.

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Binance coin’s total market capitalization the past three months.

Sean Rooney, head of research for investment firm Valkyrie, says BNB, which is used on the Binance crypto exchange to offset fees charged on the platform, is riding high on the DeFi boom that started back in the summer of 2020

“BNB is able to benefit from an explosive DeFi sector,” Rooney told CoinDesk.

Maker (MKR) is climbing Monday, up 17% as of press time. A transfer of over $450 million worth of the MakerDAO project's token to its community may be one of the reasons for its jump. MakerDAO is a decentralized stablecoin project built on Ethereum.

Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are mostly in the green on Monday. Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):

Notable losers:



  • Oil was up 1.5%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $64.41.
  • Gold was in the green 1.3% and at $1,792 as of press time.
  • Silver is gaining, up 3.7% and changing hands at $26.85.


  • The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield fell Monday to 1.601 and in the red 2%.
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The CoinDesk 20: The Assets That Matter Most to the Market


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