Now that bitcoin is firmly within the realm of institutional investor interest, big players have turned to accumulating the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap – Ethereum.

In brief

  • Open interest in CME’s ETH Futures has risen steadily since it launched on February 8.
  • Meanwhile, the number of whales on the network has also increased.
  • The mounting buying pressure comes at a time when ETH/BTC inches closer to reaching escape velocity.

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Institutional demand for Ethereum is rising as CME Ether Futures open interest rises steadily in April.

Institutional Demand Reaches Record Highs

For years, questions surrounding ethereum’s scalability have kept investors sceptical of the project. However, the London upgrade scheduled for July has garnered a lot of attention in the crypto press and elsewhere.

Since CME launched its Ether futures on February 8., open interest and daily volumes have been rising steadily. Data from Skew research shows that the total number of outstanding contracts on the institutional financial derivatives exchange sits at $357 million while trading volume surged to $680 million on April 22.

The spike in institutional demand is related to the London hard fork, as well as several Ethereum-based financial products recently launched in Canada.

While correlation does not imply causation, the aggressive rise in trading volumes on the CME corresponds with the approval of 4 Canadian Ether ETFs last week, such as Purpose Investments, CI Global Asset Management, Evolve, and 3iQ.

Whales Accumulate More Ethereum

Meanwhile, on-chain data by Santiment shows a similar rise in demand among big holder of Ethereum.

The supply distribution chart shows that the number of addresses with 10,000 to 1,000,000 ETH increased by more than 5% over the last two weeks, showing an uptick in the number of whales joining the network.

The growing number of investors backing Ethereum might seem relatively inconsequential at a glance, but when considering that these whales hold between $27 and 2.7 billion ETH in aggregate, the buying pressure is substantial.

Increasing buy pressure has also coincides with a slow and steady increase prices, with the crypto exchanging hands at $2,803 earlier today. The BTC/USD chart also shows a potential macro move after a 3-year long accumulation phase.

More recently, the platform gained a major nod of approval by the European Investment Bank to launch a so-called ‘digital bond’, spurring institutional interest further.

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