Surpassing Bitcoin, Altcoin Surge Next?

For the first time in 2023, the Ethereum price has outperformed Bitcoin across several metrics, hinting at a fundamental shift in market structure. The second cryptocurrency by market capitalization follows the general sentiment in the sector, setting new yearly highs.

As of this writing, the Ethereum price trades at $2,300 with a 4% profit in the last 24 hours. Over the previous week, the cryptocurrency recorded a 10% profit, with most of the altcoin sector still lagging the current price action.

ETH’s price trends to the upside on the daily chart. Source: ETHUSDT on Tradingview

Ethereum Price Signals Strength For Altcoin Sector?

A report from BlockScholes posted by the options platform Deribit indicates a spike in the Ethereum price volatility back to its levels above Bitcoin’s. ETH’s shift in market structure hints at traders and institutions gearing up for early 2024.

The report claims that the potential approval of a spot in the US ETH Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is behind the current price action. This new dynamic suggests that the bullish sentiment above this event slipped from Bitcoin to Ethereum.

As seen in the chart below, Ethereum records a higher return than Bitcoin for the first time since July 2023. The surge in returns, BlockSholes said, allowed ETH to buck a persistent downtrend, but overall, the cryptocurrency’s performance remains in its yearly range.

Ethereum price ETH ETHUSDT chart 2 BS
ETH’s price returns higher than Bitcoin’s since mid 2023. Source: BlockScholes via Deribit

In other words, the Ethereum price is doing better than in other periods across 2023 but has yet to resume a bullish momentum concerning Bitcoin. However, the report noted:

This reversal is not yet strong enough for us to be confident in a return to the market structure that we had previously come to expect, but does indicate that the effects of speculative bets around the application of a spot ETF are not limited to BTC. This is echoed by the implied volatilities for both assets across the term structure, which forecast similar volatility levels for both assets.

What Favors An Altcoin Rally

In addition, the report noted a decline in the US dollar as measured by the DXY Index. Risk assets can thrive as the currency trends lower, potentially hinting at a loose monetary policy by the Federal Reserve (Fed).

If Ethereum continues gaining bullish momentum from its current levels, the entire altcoin sector could see further profits. The report indicates that most entities and traders are pricing in a “risk event” by the end of January 2024.

Thus, Bitcoin and Ethereum may see a more significant rally by that time. Whichever coin prevails might reveal more information on the subsequent trend; if Ethereum outperformed, then altcoins are more likely to follow.

Cover image from Unsplash, chart from Tradingview

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