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Ethereum’s (ETH) 14% price drop overshadows improvements in investor interest — Report

ETH price rallied 77% leading into the spot Bitcoin ETF approval, setting a year-to-date high at $2,715, but in the weeks after the spot BTC approval, ETH price has turned soft alongside the rest of the market. 

The latest data from on-chain analytics firm Glassnode shows that despite the current downturn, Ether has outperformed Bitcoin (BTC) in multiple areas..

ETH eclipses BTC

Glassnode’s latest “The Week Onchain” report highlights ETH’s outperformance of Bitcoin” on a quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis.”

Analyst Alice Kohn points to a significant surge of over 20% in Ether’s value compared to Bitcoin, a trend that aligns with similar activity in the ETH derivatives market.

ETH/BTC ratio price performance. Source: Glassnode

Glassnode notes that this performance coincides with a rebound in ETH’s market dominance. According to the chart below, ETH has gained 2.9% in market cap dominance compared to Bitcoin since the spot BTC ETF approval.

ETH vs. BTC market cap dominance. Source: Glassnode

Positive market sentiment reflected in ETH’s Net Unrealized Profit/Loss metric

Ether may be trading 14% lower over the last week but market sentiment around the token remains positive. This is evidenced by the volume of net profits locked in by ETH investors which has reached a new multi-year high, signaling significant changes in investor profitability.

Kohn said,

“While profits taking has increased since mid-October, the peak on 13-Jan reached over $900M/day, aligned with investors capitalising on the ‘sell-the-news’ momentum.”

Perhaps the most significant indicator supporting Ether’s positive sentiment is Net Unrealized Profit/Loss (NUPL) for short-term token holders.

The Net Unrealized Profit/Loss (NUPL) metric that gauges the potential profit or loss of investors holding an asset based on the price at which they acquired their coins.

This metric has crossed above 0.25 for the first time since the November 2021 all-time high, indicating increasing optimism among holders.

Ethereum short-term holder NUPL. Source: Glassnode

This could mean either of two things: a level of positive market sentiment is “creeping in for ETH”, says Kohn, or a degree where “markets tend to take a pause and digest profit taking distribution pressure.”

Related: Socket protocol recovers two-thirds of stolen ETH from hack

Expressing this optimism, trader Ken spotted a “manual stop” saying that the “ETH/BTC confluence was nearing a breakout” with Ether’s price above $2,240.

ETH displays dominance in the derivatives market

The recent resurgence in Ether’s market performance, as highlighted in Glassnode’s report, suggests a potential shift in capital flows within the crypto market. A closer look at derivatives data revealed that Bitcoin’s perpetual swaps accounted for 55% of open interest in January 2022, which has since risen to 66.2%.

In comparison, “ETH open interest dominance decreased from 45% to 33.8% between 2022 and 2024,” according to Glassnode.

BTC vs. ETH perpetual Open Interest dominance. Source: Glassnode

However, ETH regained some market share, with its dominance rebounding to approximately 40% by this metric following the ETF approval.

Ether’s recent market performance has sparked increased speculation among investors about the possible introduction of a spot Ethereum ETF.

According to chief investment officer for Yield App Lucas Kiely, now there is clarity after Bitcoin ETFs— along with seven deadlines between May and August — Ethereum ETFs may come sooner than expected.