The correlation between bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) returns has been declining since mid-March, when bitcoin started outperforming against the backdrop of the U.S. banking turmoil and increased regulatory scrutiny of non-bitcoin digital assets, crypto exchange Coinbase said in a research report Friday.
The Shanghai upgrade, which was successfully completed on April 12, enables validators to withdraw staked ether.
“The relevance of this falling correlation for institutional investors is that it can affect quantitative strategies that rely on cross hedging one asset for the other (or using ETH as a hedge for less liquid altcoins),” analysts David Duong and Brian Cubellis wrote.
From a fundamental perspective “it supports diversification arguments in favor of holding both BTC and ETH,” they wrote.
The weakening in the 40-day correlation of daily returns may continue for another two weeks because the initial phase of ether withdrawals following the upgrade is still in effect, the note said.
Coinbase estimates that as of April 20 an additional 73,000 ether could be unlocked in partial withdrawals and 822,000 unlocked in full withdrawals and that could take about 15 days to process.
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.