Ether Could Run to $10,000 or Higher This Year on Numerous Catalysts: Bitwise

Bitcoin has already climbed to new all-time high while ether is lagging, but previous market cycles suggest change is coming.

AccessTimeIconMar 7, 2024 at 6:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:53 p.m. UTC
  • Bitcoin "sucked up all the attention" recently, but ether could more than double from current prices this year, a Bitwise analyst said.
  • The upcoming Dencun upgrade and excitement around spot ETF applications are key catalysts.

Ether (ETH) has been "largely overshadowed" by bitcoin (BTC) for the past several months, but the laggard could more than double in price in 2024, according to Juan Leon, crypto research analyst at asset manager Bitwise.

"[Ether] could very well go above $8,000, $10,000 this year, maybe even higher," said Leon in an interview with CoinDesk Markets Daily.

"Bitcoin has sucked up all the attention with the bitcoin ETFs launching, but [ETH] has at least two major catalysts that will come into focus," Leon noted.

This month's Dencun upgrade will make transactions cheaper on layer 2 networks, which will bolster activity and even attract mainstream, mass consumer demand for the Ethereum, he explained.

"Most of the positive sentiment will happen weeks and months after the upgrade as the effects take place," he added.

Another catalyst are the spot ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) applications, with a regulatory decision deadline approaching in May.

The odds for an approval are not as clear as were in the case for the spot bitcoin ETFs earlier this year, the Bitwise analyst said, but the possibility will bring excitement to ether. He gave a 50%-60% chance for an approval, but said it will happen "sooner or later."

A potential approval would boost ether's appeal among more conservative, institutional investors, just as the new spot bitcoin ETFs launched in January attracted strong investor demand, amassing nearly $9 billion net inflows.

Ether's deflationary supply, the restaking boom led by EigenLayer, and increasing decentralized finance (DeFi) activity also support higher prices for ETH, broker firm Bernstein said in a report last month.

When ETH can break all-time highs

While BTC already notched a new all-time high this week, ether has been lagging, still some 20% lower than its 2021 all-time high.

This is similar to how the previous market cycle unfolded, with bitcoin – being the oldest and largest market cap cryptocurrency – leading the market recovery from the bottom, with ether and smaller cryptocurrencies lagging.

Late November 2020, BTC was knocking at its all-time highs at $19,000 in, while ETH was hovering below $600, some 60% lower than its 2018 peak. A few weeks later, when BTC decisively broke above its former record price, ETH embarked on a multi-month rally to eventually hit a $4,400 peak in May.

If history is any indication, bitcoin first has to surpass the $69,000 level for ether's shot to new all-time highs.

Recently, ETH changed hands at $3,850, advancing 14% over the past seven days, outperforming bitcoin's 9% gain. The broad-market CoinDesk 20 Index (CD20) was up 13%.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.