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Cryptocurrencies rose Tuesday amid a late surge in optimism around the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s decisions on spot ether exchange-traded funds applications, the first of which is due this week.

Ether led the rally, rising 13% to $3,814.30, according to Coin Metrics, after rocketing 20% on Monday.

“This sudden flip in expectations is an unexpected boon for [crypto] investors who have been crying out for a driver after the [Bitcoin] halving passed and bitcoin ETFs were launched in the U.S. and Hong Kong,” said Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of crypto exchange Nexo. “If the spot ETH ETFs are approved, altcoins should take off as ether is often a leading indicator for the rest of the crypto market.”

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Ether rallies on ETF optimism

Meanwhile, bitcoin was little changed, holding on to a 7% gain from the previous day that pushed it above $70,000 for the first time in more than a month. The flagship cryptocurrency has been rising since last week’s April CPI reading showed inflation eased from the previous month, which could open the door again to rate cuts in the U.S.

Crypto-related equities initially rode the wave of positivity but pulled back on Tuesday. Coinbase and Robinhood, plays on trading of cryptocurrencies broadly, were slightly lower after notching gains of 8% and 9%, respectively, in the previous session. MicroStrategy, which is more of a proxy for the price of bitcoin, fell 3%.

The ether rally began suddenly on Monday, amid reports that the SEC has requested key document updates from potential ETF issuers and exchanges. A spokesperson for the SEC said the agency doesn’t comment on individual filings.

Now, investors are reconsidering the likelihood that the SEC might greenlight spot ether ETF applications. The previous consensus was that the agency would not likely approve the funds, based on the lack of engagement by the agency on the filings. By contrast, in the weeks leading up to approvals for bitcoin ETFs, the SEC was reported to be engaging actively with fund issuers.

Final decisions on applications by VanEck and Ark Invest are due this Thursday and Friday, respectively.

BlackRock, Fidelity, Invesco, Grayscale and Bitwise Asset Management also have applications awaiting decisions this year.

An Ethereum ETF approval could put an end to the lull in crypto, according to Trenchev – which several investors and analysts had expected to last another three to five months.

“Crypto’s been in a slumber since March, and we’re still in that sideways space,” he said. “We need [bitcoin] to break through the record high before we can say categorically that we’ve broken out of the range.”

“Bitcoin should rise on the coat-tails of Ethereum if we get an approval, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves,” he added. “One month doesn’t make a summer. We’re in a data-centric market. If we get a hot CPI number or a really strong jobs report, you could see the lull continue.”

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