Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, saw its price increase by 2.29% over the past 24 hours to $1,628.81 according to the data provided. This price surge comes after a mostly sideways trading period over the past month for Ethereum, with its price fluctuating between $1,500 and $1,700.
The 2.29% single-day gain has brought some relief to Ethereum investors, especially after the coin saw mostly declines over the past 6 months. Ethereum is still down 5.09% over the last 6 months, indicating it has struggled to maintain major upside momentum.
However, the latest 24-hour gain shows there could be some bullishness returning to the Ethereum market. Trading volume over the past 24 hours totaled $3.03 billion, which is above the average daily volume indicating an uptick in trading activity likely contributing to the price increase.
Over the short-term timeframes Ethereum has shown strength, gaining 0.67% over the past 1 hour and halting its recent minor declines over the past 7 days where it lost 0.14%.
Ethereum’s market capitalization now stands at $195.91 billion, affirming its status as the second most valuable cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. Ethereum accounts for approximately 15% of the total global cryptocurrency market cap, giving it a firm standing near the top of the digital asset ecosystem.
What’s Behind the Ethereum Price Increase?
The question arises - what could be fueling this Ethereum price boost at a time when broader crypto sentiment remains cautious? There are a few likely factors that help explain the return of buying pressure.
First, Ethereum network usage and development activity remains strong. The Ethereum merge to a proof-of-stake consensus was completed successfully in September 2022. This major technical upgrade to improve Ethereum’s scalability and energy efficiency appears to be going smoothly, supporting confidence in the network’s roadmap.
Beyond the merge, Ethereum continues to dominate in areas like NFTs, DeFi, and DApps where it has first mover advantage. The sturdy platform activity provides fundamental support for Ethereum's value proposition.
Second, the prospect of an interest rate hike slowdown by the Federal Reserve could be lifting crypto prices. If inflation continues to cool in the United States, the Fed may be able to pause its monetary tightening soon which would remove a key headwind for risky assets.
Finally, crypto tends to be news-driven, and there have not been major negative stories weighing on prices recently. In the absence of bearish headlines, traders may be more willing to bargain hunt among depressed altcoins like Ethereum.
The confluence of strong on-chain metrics, macroeconomic hopes, and an uneventful news cycle could be combining to make this an opportune period for an Ethereum price bounce. However, whether the bulls can maintain control remains to be seen.
Where Could Ethereum's Price Go from Here?
Based on this recent price action and the surrounding fundamental and market conditions, I expect Ethereum will trade rangebound in the near-term.
Ethereum is likely to encounter resistance around $1,800 where it struggled to break out for most of 2022 before the FTX collapse. Only a decisive move above this level on heavy volume would signal a true breakout beyond the 2022 trading range.
On the downside, Ethereum should find strong support around $1,500 which is a psychologically important price level. As long as Ethereum holds this zone, it remains in an accumulation phase following the crypto winter downturn.
Looking longer-term into 2024, I expect Ethereum will embark on a new bull market once macro uncertainty clears. The crypto bear market has been driven largely by the hawkish Fed pushing investors away from risky assets. Once inflation normalizes and the Fed pauses rate hikes, the tide should turn for cryptocurrencies including Ethereum.
With its blockchain dominance and integral role in Web3, Ethereum could reach a new all-time high above $4,500 during the next crypto bull run. But patience will be required while the macroeconomic headwinds persist. Ultimately, sound money principles and decentralized technology make crypto’s long-term adoption path clear.
Will Institutional Investment Accelerate Cryptocurrency Mass Adoption?
Institutional investment from major banks, hedge funds, and publicly-traded companies has increased substantially in cryptocurrency markets over the past few years. While crypto remains driven by retail speculation, the growing institutional footprint could accelerate mass adoption.
Institutions bring deeper liquidity, improve custody and investment infrastructure, and signal legitimacy to many investors still unsure about crypto’s staying power. The more that regulated, household name financial giants participate in cryptocurrency, the faster it may become a mainstream investable asset like stocks or bonds.
However, risks remain such as the high regulatory uncertainty in crypto markets. Laws pertaining to digital assets are still being written in real-time. Some institutions may shy away from significant crypto exposure without more mature guardrails in place. But those able to properly navigate the evolving compliance landscape can gain first-mover advantage.
In summary, institutional investment will promote mainstream crypto adoption, but likely in a measured way compliant with regulations. Crypto’s libertarian roots make institutions hesitant to over-commit, but the technology’s advantages make some participation irresistible. As the rules become better defined, big money inflows should accelerate.
Will High ETH Gas Fees Deter Enterprise Blockchain Adoption?
The high costs of transacting on Ethereum, commonly known as gas fees, have frequently deterred users over the past couple years. At times it cost over $100 just to perform a basic DeFi swap or mint an NFT. But are high gas fees also preventing corporations from building enterprise applications on Ethereum?
While no company wants to deal with exorbitant network fees, Ethereum remains the clear blockchain leader for enterprise usage cases compared to other smart contract platforms. Ethereum has the strongest developer ecosystem by far and the most battle-tested network.
Various scaling solutions are also coming online to further reduce Ethereum's transaction costs like layer 2 rollups. Additionally, the shift to proof-of-stake consumes far less energy broadening business sustainability options.
For many companies, it makes sense to pay the required fees to gain the benefits of building on the most decentralized, secure smart contract blockchain available. Enterprise demand should absorb some cost.
In conclusion, while gas fees are an annoyance, Ethereum still provides the best advanced blockchain infrastructure for major enterprises. The network effects and security outweigh the incremental expenses, and costs are improving with scaling solutions on the horizon.