It was only a matter of time before Ethereum finally woke up. Today, the world’s second-largest digital asset has made a significant move, but what is really driving the momentum for ETH?
Over the past few hours, Ethereum prices have cranked to levels not seen for five months. It has yet to revisit the 2020 high of $285 back in February but is well on the way if the current momentum continues.
Following weeks of range-bound trading oscillating between $220 and $250, Ethereum has finally broken through resistance in a move up to $270 today.
ETH/USD Chart by TradingView
The move has added 12% to ETH prices on the day, though there has been a minor pullback to the $265 range at the time of press. Since the mid-March COVID-crash, Ethereum has recovered 140%.
The move has taken ETH prices comfortably above the 50-day moving average, which is also above the 200-day moving average as the two made a golden cross in mid-May. The two indicators are moving further apart which signifies that the trend is strengthening on this time frame.
The weekly view paints a different picture though, as the momentum is still primarily sideways following almost two years of relative inactivity for Ethereum prices. If ETH is able to top February’s high of $285, the next target to break is the major resistance/support around $360 to confirm a bullish trend.
Ethereum 2.0 Final Public Testnet Officially Announced
The primary driver of the current momentum appears to be an announcement confirming the ‘official’ final ETH 2.0 testnet launch.
On Wednesday, Ethereum developers released the specifications for the official public testnet, renewing hopes for a mainnet launch before the end of the year. August 4 will be the day that the ETH 2.0 public testnet, named ‘Medalla,’ will go live. Medalla means ‘medal’ and is a nod to the ‘Olympic’ testnet that was used to prepare the ETH 1.0 launch. Ethhub co-founder, Anthony Sassano [@sassal0x], was quick to spread the word;
The “official” eth2 phase 0 public testnet (codenamed ‘Medalla’) will go live on August 4th. If all goes well, this will be the final testnet before mainnet launch. It’s finally happening!!
Medalla will be the fifth Beacon Chain testnet for Phase 0 of the long-awaited Serenity upgrade. The new Ethereum blockchain initially went live on the Sapphire testnet in April when the genesis block was mined, verified, and tested using smaller 3.2 ETH deposits.
Following its success, full 32 ETH nodes went live in May on the Topaz testnet and staking rewards were issued as confirmed by co-founder Vitalik Buterin at the time. The next testnet to go live was ‘Onyx’ in June. By the end of the month, it was running steadily with around 20,000 validators. Finally, the Altona coordinated multi-client testnet went live in early July to ensure stability before a public testnet could be rolled out in August.
Prysmatic Labs, which has conducted most of the testing so far, reported last week that its Prysm ETH 2.0 client has been successfully audited by blockchain security firm Quantstamp. Over the weekend, Prysmatic confirmed that developers were ‘so close’ to announcing the final testnet. In addition to Prysm, PegaSys (Teku), Status (Nimbus), and Sigma Prime (Lighthouse) clients have also participated in most of the recent testnets.
Medalla is still run by a decentralized group of programmers, developers and code auditors, but will be officially deployed by the Ethereum Foundation. Project coordinator Afri Schoedon commented on other testnets that have been joining the efforts to get Beacon Chain running smoothly:
The Schlesi testnet was one of many steps in that direction. The Witti testnet was another. The Altona testnet is yet another. The Medalla testnet aims to be the final one prior to mainnet launch,
ETH Massively Undervalued, Whales Loading Up
Compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum is still way undervalued, even after today’s blip. Bitcoin has recovered almost 50% since its all-time high but Ethereum is still wallowing more than 80% below its own high.
There is still a lot of room to go for ETH and on-chain metrics and adoption is light years ahead of what it was three years ago. This includes the fact that network fees and gas usage is at an all-time high.
On-chain analytics provider, Santiment [@santimentfeed], has been looking into exchange inflows noting that whales have been moving a lot of ETH recently:
Nearly 700K $ETH were moved by top 100 whales in the past 3 days. Over this time, the combined balance of the top 100 non-exchange ETH addresses shrank by almost 700K ETH, or about ~$182.7M. This was likely pre-pump positioning & a forewarning of the pump.
There are usually signals before a big pump, and the lack of volatility has shown that accumulation has been occurring during the last few months of consolidation.
Crypto Custody for U.S. Banks
The recent news that federally chartered U.S. banks and thrifts may provide custody services for crypto assets has also given markets a big boost. The Office of the Comptroller of Currency made the announcement yesterday, much to the delight of the crypto community.
Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse [@bgarlinghouse], was quick to express his thoughts on the overwhelmingly positive development for the industry.
BOOM! Today’s ruling is a huge step forward. The @USOCC is absolutely leading the way to foster innovation, protect consumers and provide a level playing field for all. The future has never been fiat versus crypto – these can and should coexist in harmony!
Crypto markets reacted with a $9 billion spike in total market capitalization to $285 billion—its highest level since June 2. Bitcoin got a boost, climbing over $9,500 again, and most altcoins are in the green today.
If Ethereum’s Medalla testnet is a success, ETH 2.0 could be rolled out on the mainnet within the next six months, and Ethereum prices could look very different by the end of the year.