Bitcoin’s price range opens the way for altcoins to rise.

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The price of Bitcoin remains below $58,000, while the price of Ethereum soars to new highs and the amount of ETH kept on centralised markets declines.

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, Ether (ETH), seized the lead as the new month began, rallying to a new all-time high of $3,338. Many observers are declaring that a new ‘altcoin season’ has begun. Meanwhile, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) is continuing to face resistance between $56,000 to $58,000.

Data from TradingView shows that since dropping to a low of $2,160 on April 25, the price of Ether has rallied 54% to a new record high at $3,324 on May 3 as Monday’s 12% spike lifted the top altcoin above the $3,300 level for the first time in history.

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Although most crypto traders are cheering Ether’s price breakout, which has helped propel project co-founder Vitalik Buterin into the crypto billionaire community, bearish traders are on their way to heavy losses, as virtually all of the 76,000 put option contracts due to expire on April 7 will become worthless if Ether price remains above $3,100.

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And it’s not the Ether that’s been doing well lately. The altcoin market as a whole has seen its valuation rise 119 percent in the last two months, converting the 2017 high into a new support standard.

Ether HODL rates rise

According to Glassnode, an on-chain analytics firm,  the amount of Ether being held long term has been on the rise since late 2020 and this could be a contributing factor propelling the multi-month rally.

Ethereum HODL waves. Source: Glassnode

According to the map above, “coins appear to be maturing from 1-week to over 6-months old since late 2020 (blue arrows),” with the “proportion of coins aged 1-month to 6-months progressively increasing in thickness suggesting HODLing coins accumulated in the early bull market remains a favoured strategy.”

Glassnode also stated that a substantial amount of Ether was withdrawn from exchange wallets in 2021, with 10 instances of withdrawals exceeding 200k Ether per day occuring in just 4 months as institutional demand and decentralised finance (DeFi) usage increases.

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Ethereum supply in smart contracts vs. balance on exchanges. Source: Glassnode

As seen in the graph above, the amount of Ether holding on exchanges has been decreasing since September 2020, coinciding with a significant rise in the amount of Ether held in decentralised finance smart contracts.

At the moment, the amount of Ether locked in smart contracts exceeds the amount kept in centralised exchange stocks.

Altcoins outpace Bitcoin for now

With Bitcoin still struggling to secure a daily close above $58,000, altcoins continue to make the case for an emerging altseason.

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Waves (WAVES) was the day’s breakout star, with its token price jumping 41% to a new high of $36.41. Ethereum Classic (ETC) rose 15% to a new all-time high of $50.90.

Maker (MKR) is currently the top-ranked decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol, with a cumulative valuation locked of $10.92 trillion, after rising 17.84 percent in the last 24 hours to $5,777.

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The total cryptocurrency market cap is currently $2.29 trillion, with Bitcoin dominating at 46.6 percent.


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