In the early days of October, the price of ETH (Ethereum) has suffered more than that of BTC (Bitcoin). In particular, while Bitcoin has held up quite well, Ethereum, on the other hand, appears to be declining.
Ethereum’s price: comparison with Bitcoin
At the beginning of the month, the price of ETH was around US$1,675, up from the end of September.
After reaching as high as 1,750 USD on October 2, it began a slow descent, bringing it first to 1,600 USD three days later, and then even just above 1,500 USD yesterday.
Right now it is losing 7.5% since the beginning of the month, and almost 12% from its October highs.
However, one has to extend the analysis to the past months as well to get a better idea of what is happening.
In fact it has gained 34% since the beginning of the year, but practically all the gain was in early January. In fact, the current value corresponds to that of January 14, which is the one on which the very rise at the beginning of the year stopped.
It should be mentioned that between March and April it rose as high as 2,140 USD, a level that has still not been exceeded since then.
Then again, that rise in March and April was due to the anticipation of the Shapella update, and once that was exhausted everything returned to normal.
Suffice it to say that by mid-June it was back below 1,700 USD, which is a level in line with that of January 20.
What was perhaps a little surprising is the descent below 1,700 USD, which began in mid-August, and perhaps ended just yesterday. Actually already on September 11 it had fallen to $1,530, but yesterday it updated this low for the second half of 2023.
Right now it is at -68% from the highs of 2021.
The price of Bitcoin versus Ethereum
The parabola of BTC’s price in this 2023 has been similar, but it began to differ sharply just in October.
Specifically, if at the beginning of the month the price was around US$27,000, the current price is only 0.6% lower.
Moreover, given that it has now been lateralizing around 27,000 USD since mid-March, we can say that it did not fall in October as ETH did.
Moreover, compared to the beginning of the year it is gaining 67%, compared to ETH’s 34%, and compared to the 2021 highs it is at -61%.
Even in mid-August, when Ethereum made a -16% in three days, in the same period Bitcoin was limited to a -14% that already hinted at a possible differentiation.
The most substantial difference is the one that has accumulated since April 21, when Bitcoin was always at around US$27,000, while Ethereum was above US$1,800. Since then, the price of BTC has lost almost nothing, while ETH is at -16%.
The Bitcoin/Ethereum ratio
Very interesting is to examine the evolution over the months of the ratio of the market capitalization of Bitcoin to that of Ethereum.
Currently, that ratio is about 2.81 times, with the 2023 peak recorded just three days ago at 2.86.
It should be noted that at the beginning of the year that ratio was only 2.17 times, and that the annual low occurred on January 11 at 2.02.
It has practically been doing nothing but rising since the second half of January, albeit by a small amount.
Even in April, during ETH’s mini bull run due to the Shapella update, it was still going up, so much so that it exceeded 2.5.
In other words during 2023 Bitcoin’s uptrend against Ethereum was never seriously challenged.
It should be noted that the last time values similar to the current ones were recorded was in the first half of July last year, which was after the failure of Celsius and BlockFi following the implosion of the Terra/Luna ecosystem. Also during the all-time highs in November 2021 it was below 2.3.
The causes of Ethereum’s apparent decline
This apparent decline of Ethereum is actually not at all abnormal.
Something similar in fact was also found during the long crypto winter of 2018/2019, with the price of ETH losing more than Bitcoin and then gaining more than BTC during the bullrun.
Therefore, this is not a true decline, but a different reaction to bear-market and bull-market.
In particular at this time it simply seems that the price of Bitcoin is more resilient.
In this month of October for example, the Dollar Index has remained very high, above 106 points, even rising above 107 points at the beginning of the month. This rise highlighted a small flight from risk-on assets, which penalized Ethereum but did not penalize Bitcoin too much.
The difference can also be seen by comparing the trend with that of the gold price.
The ultimate safe-haven asset over the past two weeks has risen only 2%, so much so that the current level is still lower than it was on September 27, for example. During the same period, Bitcoin’s price has lost almost nothing, while Ethereum’s has lost 7.5%.
The anomaly lies in the resilience of BTC, rather than the suffering of ETH, since the latter is for all intents and purposes a risk-on asset. It is as if Bitcoin is considered less risky than ETH.