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Ethereum Price Heats Up: $3,000 ETH Target Nears as Anticipation Builds

Last Updated February 20, 2024 2:04 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated February 20, 2024 2:04 PM
By Teuta Franjkovic
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • As anticipation builds for a spot ETF and the Dencun upgrade, the price of Ethereum is nearing the $3,000 mark.
  • Bernstein analysts are confident that a spot ETH ETF will likely materialize within the next year.

Ethereum Nears $3,000 Milestone

On February 19, Ethereum (ETH) saw its price surge  towards $3,000, driven by heightened anticipation of several key developments. On the evening of February 19 2024, ETH’s valuation reached $2,937. As a result, its market capitalization hit $352.96 billion. Even though, at the time of writing, the currency had a slight dip, it still showed a weekly increase  of more than 8%.

ETH price
Credit: CoinGlass

The increase of 4.12% over a 24-hour period outpaced Bitcoin’s modest 0.4% rise and the broader cryptocurrency market’s 1.2% gain during the same timeframe.

ETH Surges Ahead as Upgrades Near, Staking Tokens Shine

In parallel, Lido Staked Ether (STETH)  also enjoyed a significant uptick, recording a 8,94% gain over seven days. Meanwhile, the broader category of Ethereum 2.0 staking tokens experienced a surge of 5.4%, as per CoinMarketCap data .

Despite this robust growth, Ethereum accounted for only a minor share of the market’s 24-hour liquidations, totaling $35.48 million. This figure includes $8.43 million from long position liquidations and $27.05 million from short position liquidations.

Ethereum’s Recent Surge Linked to ETF Hopes and Dencun Upgrade 

The recent uptick in Ethereum’s price can be attributed to growing speculation that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might green-light a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF). Not only this, but there is also excitement surrounding the forthcoming Dencun upgrade. While there have been no significant regulatory changes regarding Ethereum ETFs, a report by brokerage firm Bernstein, suggested a 50% likelihood of a spot Ethereum ETF approval by May and a near certainty within a year. This analysis, along with similar forecasts lately, seems to have positively influenced investor sentiment and market dynamics.

However, not all feedback on Ethereum’s ETF prospects has been positive. Thomas Fahrer, co-founder of Apollo, raised concerns about Coinbase’s dominant position as an ETF custodian potentially undermining Ethereum’s proof-of-stake model. Fahrer warned that this could lead to a scenario where Coinbase exerts excessive control over the network, sparking debate within the community about the implications for Ethereum’s decentralization and security.

Coinbase, Lido Lead in ETH Staking Amid ETF Custody Uncrtainty

According to Dune Analytics, Coinbase currently accounts  for approximately 15% of all Ethereum (ETH) staking, with Lido  taking the lead at over 31%. The potential impact of spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Coinbase’s market dominance remains uncertain, as the total amount of cryptocurrency that could be held by such ETFs is unknown.

Additionally, it’s not yet clear if the SEC will allow ETH staked in spot ETFs. However, it seems like some ETF applicants are planning for this.

As well as talking about ETFs, the Ethereum community is eagerly awaiting the Dencun upgrade, scheduled for March 13. This significant update is expected to introduce proto-danksharding, enhancing the network’s scalability and reducing transaction costs. The upgrade represents a crucial step forward in Ethereum’s ongoing development, promising to bolster its infrastructure for future growth.

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