February 21, 2024 at 12:53 GMTModified date: February 21, 2024 at 12:54 GMT
February 21, 2024 at 12:53 GMT

Ethereum crosses $3,000 as ETF speculation grows

For the first time in nearly two years, the second largest cryptocurrency has crossed the $3,000 mark.

Ethereum crosses $3,000 as ETF speculation grows

Ethereum ($ETH) surpassed the $3,000 threshold early Tuesday for the first time in nearly two years. This surge comes amid growing speculation that the United States could approve spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as soon as May. 

At its peak, Ethereum reached $3,003.40, but later retreated slightly. Currently, it is trading at around $2,916, marking a 6% rise over the past week, and a 17% gain over the past month. 

This uptick in Ether’s price is part of a wider bullish trend within the cryptocurrency market, with Bitcoin also hitting a two-year high of over $52,000 in the past week. The largest cryptocurrency is currently up.

Growing anticipation for an Ethereum ETF

Following the successful launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs in January, the focus among investors and market analysts has shifted towards the potential approval of a spot Ether ETF. 

Prominent financial firms such as Fidelity and BlackRock have submitted applications for such ETFs in recent months, fueling speculation about the market’s direction.

Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg, has suggested there’s a 70% chance of an Ether ETF being approved by 23 May, the deadline for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to make a decision on applications filed by Ark and 21Shares. 

Despite this optimism, some institutions, like investment bank TD Cowen and financial services firm JPMorgan, have expressed scepticism, citing the SEC’s cautious approach to cryptocurrency products.

The debate over whether Ether and other cryptocurrencies should be classified as securities has also played a role in the conversation about ETF approvals. SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s previous statements have indicated a belief that many cryptocurrencies fall under this category.

Franklin Templeton applies for Ether ETF

Adding to the list of firms seeking to launch a spot Ether ETF, Franklin Templeton recently filed an application with the SEC. The asset management company, which oversees $1.5 trillion in assets, filed its ETF proposal on 12 February. It aims to list its proposed “Franklin Ethereum ETF” on the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Franklin Templeton’s move adds to a growing list of firms, including industry heavyweights like BlackRock, VanEck, Fidelity, Invesco Galaxy, Grayscale, and Hashdex, all vying for the SEC’s approval to launch their own spot Ether ETFs.