First Mover Americas: All Eyes on Ether

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Feb. 19, 2024.

AccessTimeIconFeb 19, 2024 at 1:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 5:53 a.m. UTC
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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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Bitcoin's (BTC) recent rally has been driven by the spectacular introduction of exchange-traded funds (ETF). It may now be time to focus on ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, broker Bernstein said in a research report on Monday. Ether is "probably the only other digital asset likely to get a spot ETF approval by the SEC," the report said. Bernstein says there is about a 50% chance of ether spot ETF approval by May and near-certain probability of approval in the next 12 months. Ether rose over 3% on Monday, while bitcoin gained just over 1%. Ether has outpaced bitcoin over the past week, gaining over 16% in seven days to trade above $2,900 for the first time in nearly two years while the bitcoin price rose a more sedate 8.5% to $52,300.

Japan's cabinet approved a bill that adds crypto to the list of assets the nation's investment funds and venture capital firms can acquire, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday. Japan has been a global leader in framing a regulatory framework for stablecoins, and has indicated plans to promote Web3 while remaining tough on user protection. In September 2023, Nikkei reported that the country planned to relax rules for VC firms to invest in crypto startups. Now the cabinet has approved the move, the amended bill will be introduced and debated in the current session of parliament, the Diet.

Layer-1 blockchain Sui has experienced a sharp increase in inflows this month, a spike that has seen it overtake Cardano, Near and Aptos in terms of total value locked (TVL). The network, which was built by former Meta (META) employees, now has over $593 million in capital locked across various decentralized finance (DeFI) protocols, more than double its total at the turn of the year when it had $211 million, DefiLlama data shows. Data published by, which tracks the flow of funds through the cross-chain bridge Wormhole, shows that $310 million had been bridged to Sui from Ethereum in the past 30 days.

Chart of the Day

  • The chart shows the best-performing cryptocurrencies of the past seven days.
  • HBAR leads the pack with 29% gains, followed by KAS, MATIC, ADA, and ETH.
  • The market rally is broadening, with ether's recent bitcoin-beating move of 17%.
  • 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.

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