Bernstein Uber-Bullish On Ethereum: Is Ether The Next ‘Institutional Darling’ With ETH Price Smashing New All-Time High?

2024 has everything to be the biggest year in the history of the Ethereum ecosystem.

In addition to the potential approval of an Ether spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States, this year will also mark the blockchain’s first bull cycle since the Merge in 2022, which could see the largest altcoin set a new record high.

Brokerage firm Bernstein has suggested that Ethereum could be the next focus for TradFi institutions.

Ether’s Road To Mainstream Adoption And Investment As ETF Prospects Brighten

Bernstein has made a bullish case for ether as the crypto’s stars are aligned.

In a note to clients on Monday, Bernstein analysts Gautam Chhugani and Mahika Sapra argued that ether is “probably the only other digital asset” likely to secure a spot ETF green light from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Market watchers believe the SEC’s approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in January could have opened the door to the approval of other crypto-backed spot ETFs, namely a spot ether ETF. And thanks to the precedent set by a BTC ETF, according to Bernstein, there is a 50% probability of that ether investment vehicle entering the market by May and a near-certain likelihood of approval in the next 12 months.

Several prominent asset managers already offering spot BTC ETFs, including BlackRock, Fidelity, and Franklin Templeton, have thrown their weight behind spot ETH ETF applications, buoying ether’s medium-term price outlook. Spot ETH ETFs, if approved, would distinguish ether from direct rivals such as Solana and BNB Chain in terms of access and regulatory standing.

The institutional appetite for ether is largely attributed to a confluence of the speculative anticipation surrounding the potential approval of spot ETH ETFs and upbeat fundamentals such as a rewarding staking program and deep liquidity.

“Ethereum, with its staking yield dynamics, environmentally friendly design, and institutional utility to build new financial markets, is well positioned for mainstream institutional adoption,” the broker’s analysts posited.

Furthermore, the next major Ethereum network upgrade, Dencun (Ethereum Improvement Proposal 4844), is scheduled for March 13. The hard fork aims to provide “for a dedicated corridor and blockspace for roll-ups, making transaction costs cheaper by another 50%-90%,” the authors wrote. This will be a significant turning point in this cycle, and it will probably lead Ethereum to its biggest year in history.

Whale Splashes $154 Million In ETH Accumulation Spree

Meanwhile, the cryptosphere is abuzz after a wallet gobbled up a staggering $154 million worth of Ether in less than a day and a half.

Blockchain sleuth Lookonchain revealed on Feb. 19 that an unknown entity amassed a staggering 54,721 ETH worth $154.4 million through transactions on crypto exchange Binance and several decentralized exchanges (DEXes).

After examining the wallet’s history, Lookonchain suggested that the wallet could belong to Justin Sun, Tron founder and advisor to digital asset exchange HTX (formerly known as Huobi).

“30 minutes ago, a wallet ‘TWGHNc’ suspected to be JustinSun deposited 50M USDT into Binance. This wallet also withdrew 500M USDT from HTX yesterday. Maybe no one except JustinSun can withdraw so much USDT from HTX,” Lookonchain observed.

Regardless of who owns the wallet in question, the whale-sized purchase has signalled a positive outlook for the industry’s second-largest cryptocurrency.

Ether Price Eyes New All-Time High

Ether was changing hands at $2,937 at press time, up over 26% year-to-date. This is the first time ETH has crossed the $2,900 milestone since May 2022, before the Terra Luna downfall that ignited a lengthy bear market.

ETH bulls are currently striving for $3,000 as the next stop for ether. Recapturing $3k would open the gates to the $3,500-$4,000 range and possibly a new historic high.

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