For the past few months, the crypto show was run by small-cap assets but now large-caps have taken the reins. The large-cap and mid-cap index performed the best through the week with 9.8% and 7.4% returns while small-cap fell 2.3%.
Bitcoin hit five digits going as high as $11,400 but it was Ethereum that was the best performer recording a staggering 30.8% gains for the week. These strong gains have been a rational response to its improving network fundamentals as Ethereum benefits from hitting the most stablecoin and DeFi activity.
ETH market cap grew 15.6% week-over-week leading all other major cryptos, lagging behind the DeFi growth this week. Amidst this explosion, ETH adjusted transfer value surged nearly 78% and averaged close to $1 billion per day. Also, open interest in Ethereum futures surpassed $1 billion.
On Monday, Ethereum developers released a “validator launchpad” on the Medalla testnet to prepare future validators for the transition to ETH 2.0 that will take the second-largest network from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS), which will take years to come to full realization.
This transition aims to improve Ethereum’s scalability issue, extremely necessary for the network as Ether transaction fees continue to surge, growing more than 76% week-over-week.
Over the last week, ETH had an average of $1.5 million daily fees outpacing Bitcoin by about $500k per day although bitcoin fees also showed strong growth, gaining 74% w-o-w.
With ETH fees skyrocketing and the network at near full capacity, Ethereum miners increased the gas limit by 4% to 12.5 million.
Thanks to the increasing fees, miners daily income soared by 60%, as per Sparkpool data. According to Bitinfocharts, mining profitability has been surging since March when it bottomed at $0.0094 to climb to $0.03.
DeFi’s hot streak also had Ethereum contract calls hitting a new all-time high of 3.11 million.
Not just in fees but ETH is also gaining momentum on exchanges. Over the last year, the amount of Bitcoin and Ether transactions sent either to or from an exchange has been relatively equal though BTCs movement has been more extreme. But in July ETH started to pull ahead.
Over the last week, BTC and ETH flows started going in opposite directions — ETH is flowing into the exchange while BTC is flowing out, a net outflow of 278,395 since March 15th.
But it isn’t a good thing for Ether as the outflow suggests lower selling pressure which means investors are looking to take off profit as ETH surges to a level last seen over a year back.