• Ether saw its largest two-day gain in nearly two years, rising 8% to $3,775, driven by speculation about potential SEC approval of U.S. spot ether ETFs.
  • Bitcoin also surged, approaching a record high, as investors remained optimistic following the SEC’s earlier approval of several spot bitcoin ETFs.

LONDON, May 21 (Reuters) – Ether experienced its most significant two-day gain in nearly two years, driven by speculation regarding the approval of U.S. spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency. This surge also saw bitcoin nearing record highs, reflecting a renewed investor optimism in the crypto market.

On Tuesday, ether, the cryptocurrency powering the Ethereum blockchain, soared by 8% to $3,775, marking its highest value in two months. This followed a substantial 13.8% increase on Monday. Meanwhile, bitcoin climbed 2.2% to $71,000, just 4% below its March peak of $73,803.25.

Investors Eye SEC Decision on Ether ETFs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to rule on several spot ether ETF applications this week. Analysts attribute Tuesday’s rally to rumors that the SEC might approve these products, contradicting earlier expectations of rejection. Bitcoin’s sharp rally earlier this year, spurred by the SEC’s approval of several spot bitcoin ETFs, which subsequently attracted billions in inflows, adds to the current optimism surrounding ether.

In 2024, bitcoin has surged 67%, with ether closely trailing with a 60% increase. “Ethereum has taken pole position in the latest crypto rally ahead of Thursday’s first final SEC deadline to decide on an ETH ETF,” remarked Ben Laidler, global markets strategist at eToro.

VanEck, ARK Investment Management, and seven other issuers have submitted filings with the SEC to list spot ether ETFs. The commission must make a decision on VanEck’s and ARK’s filings, due by May 23 and May 24, respectively. Joseph Edwards, head of research at Enigma Securities, highlighted reports suggesting the SEC had requested exchanges intending to list the ether ETF to update their filings. Additionally, Bloomberg ETF research indicated that analysts have raised their informal approval probabilities.

An SEC spokesperson declined to comment on individual filings. Edwards noted, “Opposing the ETH ETF after the BTC one was approved always seemed like an odd case for the SEC to try to push, unless they were willing to open up questions on Ethereum’s securities status more broadly, and it’s likely that the call has come in somewhere to not take that fight.”

Last week’s crypto market rally was further boosted by data showing a slowdown in U.S. inflation, driving a surge in risk assets. As investors continue to monitor the SEC’s decisions, the crypto market remains poised for potential significant shifts, with ether and bitcoin leading the charge.