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Ethereum Will Soar Against Bitcoin After ETF Approvals: K33 Research

Ethereum is primed to mount a comeback against Bitcoin this month after underperforming its sibling cryptocurrency since the start of the year, according to K33 Research.

On the one hand, the leading smart contract platform is poised to receive its first US-listed spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) in July, inviting a tidal wave of new institutional demand into ETH. Meanwhile, Bitcoin holders are awaiting a 141,686 BTC ($8.8 billion) distribution from defunct Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox—a looming tsunami of potential sell pressure now ten years in the making.

“The chickens of 2014 have come home to roost,” wrote K33 Research in a Tuesday market update. “We expect net selling pressure to burden Bitcoin in an otherwise dry summer market, widening the chop suey range until rosier days arise as the leaves turn orange.”

Though the crypto market has lost much of its bullish momentum since April, K33 maintains that Ethereum ETFs will absorb between 0.75% and 1% of all ETH in circulation within their first five months on the market. Though the ETF launch could spark a “sell the news” event for ETH in the short term (much like Bitcoin ETFs in January), the firm says ETH’s “positive supply dynamics” will afford it “relative strength” over the next several months.

“ETFs are a solid catalyst for relative ETH strength as the summer progresses and flows accumulate,” continued K33 senior analyst Vetle Lunde, “and I firmly view current ETH/BTC prices as a bargain for the patient trader.”

The ETH/BTC ratio steadily declined from 0.056 after the Bitcoin ETFs launched down to 0.046 By May 24. That’s when surprise news broke that the SEC would soon approve Ethereum ETFs, taking the ratio back up to 0.055 today.

Indicators suggest that positive sentiment around both ETH and BTC is returning to form—particularly in the futures market.

Bitcoin futures premiums on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) are back to trading in double digits at 10.9%, according to the report. As for Ethereum, the newly launched VolatilityShares 2x leveraged ETH ETF now holds 33,700 ETH ($114 million) equivalent exposure after just 15 trading days, showing that CME traders want long-leveraged exposure to ETH right now.

The new ETF’s popularity has helped push CME ETH open interest back towards all-time highs, currently sitting at 372,000 ETH ($1.26 billion). K33 Research said such high interest signals intent to make directional trades around ETH before the ETFs go live – though the direction of those trades remains unclear.

“The soft funding rates suggest that the directional expectations are balanced, with neither bullish nor bearish positioning dominating – highlighting the uncertain market outlook and lack of consensus as ETH ETF launches are nearing,” the report concluded.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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