ETH price nears 3-year lows vs. Bitcoin — Will an Ethereum ETF stem the tide?


The price of Ether (ETH) in Bitcoin (BTC) is nearing a three-year low. However, several key technical indicators are flashing bullish, and some analysts are anticipating potential gains ahead for ETH/BTC. 

Ethereum down 33% vs. Bitcoin since the Merge

Ethereum price in USD terms has more than doubled in price since switching to proof-of-stake in September 2022. But the picture is very different when priced in Bitcoin as the ETH/BTC pair is down roughly 33% since the Merge. 

More recently, ETH/BTC has continued slumping, losing over 9% in the past month with a drop to 0.048 BTC. The last time the trading pair was this low was in May 2021, according to Tradingview data.

BTC/ETH, all-time chart. Source: Tradingview

Ether price fell over 11% during the past week to $3,239, pushing the relative strength index (RSI) to 44 on the daily time frame, down from the 85 reached on March 11. This suggests that Ether is no longer in “overbought” territory.

ETH/USD, all-time chart. Source: Tradingview

The RSI is a popular momentum indicator used to measure whether an asset is oversold or overbought based on the magnitude of recent price changes.

Traders should keep an eye on the $3,200 psychological mark, which would liquidate over $97 million worth of leveraged short positions. A move further down to $3,170 would liquidate over $329 million worth of short leverage across all exchanges, according to Coinglass data.

ETH Exchange Liquidation Map. Source: Coinglass

Ether price has been underperforming Bitcoin’s price this year in U.S. dollar terms. Bitcoin is up 49% year-to-date (YTD), while Ether is up 36%. Over the past three months, BTC rose 56% while ETH rose 28%, Tradingview data shows.

BTC/USD, ETH/USD, 3-month chart. Source: Tradingview

Related: ‘China is about to start bidding’ — Will Hong Kong Bitcoin ETFs spark the halving rally?

Is it a good time to buy ETH?

The last time the ETH/BTC ratio was around 0.048 BTC was at the beginning of May 2021 before ETH price fell two consecutive months in a row, declining 2.5% during May and over 15% to $2,276 by the end of June 2021.

Yet, Ether price could be setting up for a rally, thanks to the approval of Bitcoin and Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in Hong Kong, according to Andrey Stoychev, the head of Prime Brokerage at Nexo. He told Cointelegraph:

“Bitcoin has its all-important block rewards halving in days, just as Ether balances on exchanges stand at a multi-year low. That setup alone could invite more investor exposure to ETH in anticipation of bigger news from Hong Kong – namely, the approval of local Bitcoin- and Ether-based ETFs. In light of this market situation, it could be argued that Ether could perform a sharp, idiosyncratic catch-up.”

The current Ether price levels could represent a good buying opportunity, said Stoychev:

“Even at current rates, market participants could buy ETH for both a short-term catch-up play, as well a longer-term trade given all the potential developments. With that said, the key levels to watch for now in ETH/USD would be $3,300 on the topside and $3,000 on the downside.”

The focus on Bitcoin ETFs, combined with the high transaction costs on the Ethereum network, has taken the spotlight off Ether, according to Jonathan Caras, the head of communication at Levana perpetual futures protocol.

Caras added that Ether will need a significant catalyst, like an Ethereum ETF, to make a comeback. He told Cointelegraph:

“Ethereum will need a catalyst to catch up, either from its own ETF or some other method of promoting institutional adoption in order to reverse the downward relative trend.”

Related: How high can Bitcoin go? New BTC price prediction sees cycle top at $180K

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.