Ethereum ETF Hype Muted by ETH Futures Data

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This post was originally published on cryptonewsfarm.com

Ethereum ETF Hype: A Sobering Look at Futures Market Signals

The recent approval of spot Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sparked excitement in the crypto market. However, the actual launch date of these instruments remains uncertain as individual fund applications (S-1 filings) require further regulatory approval. This uncertainty is reflected in the price of Ether (ETH), which has struggled to break through the $3,900 resistance level.

Concerns and Uncertainties

Several factors are contributing to investor unease surrounding Ethereum ETFs. One concern is the potential conversion of the Grayscale Ethereum Trust (ETHE) into a spot instrument. If Grayscale maintains its current high fund fees, investors might pull their money, mirroring the recent outflows experienced by Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust (GBTC). This could negate any inflows from competing ETF providers like BlackRock, Fidelity, VanEck, and ARK 21Shares.

Another theory suggests political influence played a role in the SEC’s decision. Some analysts believe the agency faced pressure from Democrats to greenlight Ethereum ETFs as a way to gain support in the upcoming U.S. presidential election. However, others argue that the SEC simply took a more practical approach, recognizing the similarity between Ethereum and Bitcoin ETFs in terms of regulatory requirements.

Looking at Futures Market Data

The debate now centers on whether bullish bets are being placed through ETH derivatives markets or if the price of Ether is being artificially suppressed due to delays in the ETF launch. This uncertainty stems from mixed signals in the crypto market, including recent actions by President Biden who vetoed a Congressional resolution aimed at weakening the SEC’s stance on cryptocurrencies.

Predicting the SEC’s approval timeline for individual Ethereum ETF applications is challenging. To gauge investor sentiment, we can turn to trading metrics. Perpetual contracts (inverse swaps) incorporate a funding rate that adjusts every eight hours. A positive funding rate suggests more leverage is being used by long positions (buyers).

While the funding cost for ETH leverage has seen a brief spike recently, it remains insignificant overall. This indicates a balanced demand between long and short positions using perpetual contracts.

Monthly Futures Show Fading Optimism

To get a clearer picture, we can analyze the ETH monthly futures annualized premium (basis rate). These contracts generally trade at a premium (5-10%) compared to the spot price due to their longer settlement period. However, during periods of high enthusiasm, the premium can reach 20% as buyers are willing to pay more for leverage.

The ETH monthly futures premium surged to 15% following the price rally to $3,800 in May. However, this optimism began to wane by June 3rd, with the indicator falling back to 13%. While still slightly above neutral, it doesn’t signal short-term bullishness.

It’s important to note that this data doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of confidence in the eventual launch of spot Ethereum ETFs. Stricter global regulations, such as Hong Kong’s ban on unlicensed exchanges and Paraguay’s seizure of unregistered mining equipment, also contribute to the cautious outlook.

Conclusion

Based on current ETH futures pricing, there seems to be a low level of trust in significant net inflows from U.S. spot ETFs. This could be due to the delay in approvals or the potential outflow from Grayscale’s ETHE. Consequently, a price rally above $4,000 in the near future appears unlikely based on the signals from the Ethereum futures market.

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Author: Sb

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