First Mover Americas: Traders Are Turning to Ether

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Dec. 6, 2023.

AccessTimeIconDec 6, 2023 at 1:39 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 5:43 a.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Key derivatives market metrics show sophisticated traders are turning their attention to ether (ETH) from the recent market standout, bitcoin (BTC), hinting at a potential outperformance of Ethereum's native token in the coming weeks. Bitcoin has rallied over 60% this quarter, while ether, the supposedly deflationary currency with bond-like appeal and an ESG-compliant label, has lagged big time, gaining just 35%, CoinDesk data show. The performance gap is even wider over larger time frames, with bitcoin boasting a 163% year-to-date gain versus ether's 89%.

IBM has released a cryptographic signing technology for handling digital assets in cold storage, reducing the risks associated with manual procedures while keeping assets at arm's length from an internet connection. The tech giant said in a statement on Tuesday that its IBM Hyper Protect Offline Signing Orchestrator (OSO) helps protect high-value transactions by offering additional security layers, including disconnected network operations, time-based security and electronic transaction approval by multiple stakeholders. In recent years, IBM has been applying its gravitas in key management, specifically its confidential computing suite of technologies, to digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

Asset manager BlackRock and crypto investment firm Bitwise both filed amended S1 forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, answering further questions probably asked by the regulator in earlier conversations. While it is unclear which topics the SEC asked applicants to provide further information for, analysts had predicted that changes to the prior filings would be made following several meetings between the SEC and applicants last week. The filings signal that both parties are “working hard to iron things out,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s James Seyffart wrote on X. Amendments by the other 11 applicants, including Fidelity, Franklin and WisdomTree, are likely to follow soon, he said.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows the most active bitcoin options of the past 24 hours.
  • While calls have seen the most volume, some traders have traded puts at strikes $41,000 and $41,500.
  • The flows are consistent with options skew, which shows traders are looking to protect themselves from a potential price slide.
  • Source: Velo Data

- Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.