Institutional Investors Shift Interest to Ether But Bitcoin Fundamental Shows ‘Healthy Bull Market’

On CME, Ether futures volume and OI is up 50-60%, while for Bitcoin, it is declining. Still, several metrics show that people are not preparing to sell their BTC and have “longer-term conviction” in the trillion-dollar crypto asset.


Institutional investors seem to be more interested in Ether right now than Bitcoin.

Ether futures had a record volume day this week, trading $228 million in volume, as per Skew. It is a relatively new product as CME Group launched Ether future just a few months back on Feb. 8.

Despite these good numbers, Ether futures are only catching up to the underlying spot volume.

According to the March report of CryptoCompare, in terms of total USD trading volume, CME’s newly launched ETH futures reached $1.5 billion in March, up 51.3% since February. Meanwhile, BTC futures volume on CME has decreased by 0.5% to $59.4 billion.

About ten days ago, at the announcement to the upcoming CME micro Bitcoin futures, Tim McCourt shared that since the Ether futures launch, they have seen 767 contracts, equivalent to 38,400 Ether, trading on average each day compared to 13,800 contracts equivalent to about 69,000 BTC in 2021.

Much like volume, open interest is also on the surge, with ETH OI averaging $102 million, up 66.2%, in March on CME, and currently, at $187 million. As for Bitcoin, traders err on the side of caution, with OI dropping by 15% to $2.1 billion last month.

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Average open interest for March was down 14.1% from Feb. across all futures derivatives products at $25.9bn. Binance, however, recorded a 1.5% increase and the highest open interest on average at $7.5bn.

The OI shifted lower as the price of Bitcoin remains stuck under $60k while Ether’s is trading above $2k, hitting a new ATH at $2,050 last weekend.

Despite the lack of movement in price, bitcoin fundamentals paint a healthy and bullish picture, as noted by Yassine Elmandjra, an analyst at ARK investment and on-chain analyst David Puell in “Buyer and Seller Behavior: Analyzing Bitcoin’s Fundamentals.”

One of the metrics, Thermo Capitalization, which is the total USD value of coins paid to miners, is at $23 billion, nearly 98% below bitcoin’s market cap, indicating that “miners no longer dominate as natural sellers.”

Another metrics is “HODL” waves shows that today, roughly 55% of bitcoin’s supply hasn’t moved in more than a year, illustrating investors’ longer-term conviction in the crypto asset.

The largest crypto asset, Bitcoin achieved a trillion-dollar market cap this year for the first time, however, realized market cap, which values each BTC at the price of its last move, is at $350 billion.

“Whenever market cap drops below realized cap, the overall bitcoin market sells at a loss, denoting capitulation,” noted Elmandjra and Puell.

Another bullish metric is coindays destroyed, an increase of which implies that holders are moving coins out of long-term storage and taking profits.

The metrics measure the time-weighted turnover of bitcoin and is currently slightly above 5 billion, still 30% below its all-time high in early 2018 in spite of the price tripling its 2017 ATH, depicting “a healthy bull market.”

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