The price of Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, achieved a new all-time high on Feb. 9, 2021. On Binance, ETH rallied to as high as $1,830 merely hours after it started to trade on CME.
ETH/USDT 15-minute candle price chart (Binance). Source: TradingView.com
Why is ETH rallying after the CME listing of any importance?
The timing of the ETH rally to a new record-high is noteworthy because of the negative sentiment around it prior to the listing.
In December 2017, CME listed the Bitcoin futures contract for the first time. Within weeks, the price of Bitcoin crashed from $20,000 to around $6,000.
Many traders and analysts were expecting ETH to fall in a similar manner to BTC after Bitcoin futures went live on the CME in December 2017.
However, there are two misconceptions about this theory. First, there is no way to prove that the CME Bitcoin futures listing was the catalyst that caused BTC to plummet in the weeks that followed.
Second, other than that unprovable theory, there is no clear reason to perceive CME listing ETH as a bearish event.
The difference between 2021 and 2017 is that there is unprecedented institutional demand for Ether and cryptocurrencies in general. As Cointelegraph reported, Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, which is nearly 10% of its cash holdings.
There is a strong chance that the institutional demand for Bitcoin could translate into rising demand for ETH. In this sense, the CME listing could be a major catalyst for Ethereum in the longer term.
Ryan Seans Adams, an Ethereum investor and researcher, said:
“ETH futures go live on the CME today This is huge. This is a bridge to institutions. This is a green light from U.S regulators. ETH is becoming globally accepted commodity money.”
CME listing will be a catalyst for Ethereum
Researchers at the CoinMetrics team said in a note that they believe CME’s ETH futures launch could accelerate inflows of ETH into the Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE).
If the institutional appetite for Ethereum rises as a result and Grayscale inflows spike, this would likely cause both the short-term and long-term sentiment around ETH to rapidly improve. The researchers said:
“CME’s launch may potentially accelerate ETH inflows into Grayscale’s Ethereum Trust (ETHE) – investors can buy into the Grayscale Trust while simultaneously shorting ETH, remaining market neutral and pocketing the ETHE premium. Grayscale’s Ethereum trust does not currently have a method for withdrawing ETH so it effectively serves as a large token sink for ETH.”
Analysts at Arcane Research found that the ETH futures contract achieved a $30 million daily volume on its first day, which is relatively high.
CME ETH Futures volume. Source: Arcane Research
As the volume continues to increase, it would show that institutions are also considering ETH as a potential investment. The analysts said:
“ETH Futures launch on @CMEGroup Bank The first day of trading for CME’s ETH Futures ended with over $30 million in volume and $20 million in open interest.”