Bitcoin Holds Steady Near $30.5K, Ether Circles Around $2.1K

BTC and ETH have risen about 9% and 12%, respectively, over the past seven days. While BTC has driven the market this year so far, the Shapella upgrade has boosted ETH trading, according to an analyst.

AccessTimeIconApr 14, 2023 at 9:18 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 17, 2023 at 4:37 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin and ether’s prices rose handsomely in an eventful week of mildly encouraging inflation data and Ethereum’s long-awaited Shapella upgrade.

Bitcoin (BTC) was recently trading at $30,450, up 0.4% from 24 hours ago and more than 9% for the week, according to CoinDesk data. The largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization breached $31,000 earlier in the day before retreating during the U.S. intraday (ET).

Ether (ETH) gained 5.4% on Friday to recently trade at $2,105. It’s up over 12% for the week.

Bitcoin, Ether 7-Day Returns (CoinDesk Research)
Bitcoin, Ether 7-Day Returns (CoinDesk Research)

“Ether and bitcoin have both seen upside follow-through after confirming base breakouts in late March, which are as positive intermediate-term developments on their charts,” Will Tamplin, senior analyst at technical research firm Fairlead Strategies, told CoinDesk in an email.

Tamplin noted that ETH and BTC's next major resistance levels are roughly $2,400 and $35,900, respectively, targeted over the next several weeks.

Yet, he added that with both assets "beginning to look extended in the short term ... we would not rule out a pullback in the coming days to digest recent gains,” with initial support near $1,670 for ETH and $25,200 for BTC.

Greg Magadini, director of derivatives at crypto analytics firm Amberdata, highlighted in an interview with CoinDesk that the relative expensiveness of ETH calls versus puts in ETH – also known as the risk reversal skew – currently sits positive to the call side for all expirations post-Shapella. Magadini said that this trend signals “bullish activity in the sense that people are willing to pay more on the call side.”

Typically, a call buyer is bullish about the market, while the put buyer is bearish.

Magadini noted that while bitcoin has driven options volume, open interest and volatility this year, particularly as BTC surged in January and after last month’s banking crisis, “the Shapella upgrade is the first time that we're getting some life back into the Ethereum market,” he said.

Prior to the upgrade, investors split on how the market would react to the event, with some expecting potential selling pressure to ETH and others believing no major impact on the market.

“On Ethereum, developers have proven that they can follow through on their vision,” Magadini said. “We've made a major milestone and so this brings back validity and credibility to Ethereum.”

Meanwhile, several other altcoins jumped Friday. Decentralized smart contracts platform Injective Protocol’s INJ surged more than 28% in the past 24 hours to trade at $8.64, while artificial intelligence-focused crypto protocol's FET rose by 13% to trade at 40 cents. Layer 2 network Optimism's OP was up 7% to $2.62.

The CoinDesk Market Index, which measures the overall crypto market performance, was up 9% for the week.

Equities wrapped up Friday lower as investors started to process results from the current quarterly earnings season: The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed down 0.2% and 0.3%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was down 0.4% for the day.

Edited by James Rubin.


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Jocelyn Yang

Jocelyn Yang is a markets reporter at CoinDesk. She is a recent graduate of Emerson College's journalism program.