Ethereum Price Analysis: Volume Spike Pushes ETH/USD to Monthly Highs

Ethereum’s price rallied to one-month highs on Sunday, overcoming a soft landing for the broader cryptocurrency market and reaffirming the view that ETH has already bounced from a major bottom. A look at the fundamental picture, specifically ETH block transactions, suggests Ethereum isn’t out the woods yet with respect to the bear market.

ETH/USD: Toward Monthly Highs

Ether peaked at $139.50 on Sunday, according to Bitfinex. It was last seen trading at $130.78, having gained 4.9%. That marks the highest level since mid-January. As a result of the gain, ether moved into overbought territory based on the hourly Relative Strength Index (RSI).

Outside highly-anticipated Constantinople upgrade, which is scheduled later this month, there was no immediate catalyst for Ethereum’s breakout on Sunday. This suggests that technical trading was dictating market flows. ETH remains well supported above $120; the breakout north of $125 suggests further gains are likely.

Over the past 24 hours, Ethereum’s trade volumes have surged 25% to $3.5 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Ether is presently on course for its highest 24-hour turnover since Feb. 9.

At current values, the Ethereum network has a total market capitalization of $13.4 billion, placing it second among active blockchains and $1.2 billion higher than the next biggest project, XRP.

Bottom is Well Protected

Since plunging to the mid-$80 range in December, Ethereum has undergone a doubling in price followed by a downward correction that threatened to expose the $100 support. Since the beginning of February, ETH has rallied more than 20% to current levels.

As Hacked recently reported, a tremendous pump was needed to keep Ethereum from further capitulation in December. Between Dec. 10 and Dec. 24, institutions and cryptocurrency whales picked up 11 million units of ETH to prevent further losses. In other words, they absorbed more than $1.5 billion worth of selling pressure at the time.

Between Nov. 19 and Dec. 24, these large players probably accumulated somewhere around 24 million ETH. This should serve as a strong backstop to any further attempt to push prices lower.

Block Transactions Plunge

Although Constantinople is expected to solve many of the technical challenges facing Ethereum, the number of transactions on the network has been in free fall since early 2018. According to data from Etherscan.io, block transactions have plummeted more than 90% over the past 13 months.

As the following chart illustrates, the highest number of transactions ever recorded occurred on Jan. 4, 2018 to the tune of 1,349,890 units. That figure fell to 381,151 units on Feb. 10, 2019.

This figure appears to be positively correlated with the sharp drop in Ethereum’s exchange volume over the same period. Combined with the fierce competition from Tron and EOS in the market for decentralized applications, its apparent that Ethereum could face further pressure in the short term. While this is unlikely to produce new lows, it certainly means that the bear market is here to stay.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi