Ethereum (ETH) has experienced a 36% increase in its price in US dollars since the beginning of the year in 2023. However, considering that ETH is currently trading 66% below its November 2021 peak of $4,870, this recovery could be a smaller increase.
On September 20th, Ethereum reached its lowest level against Bitcoin (BTC) in the past 14 months, breaking the critical support of 0.06 BTC. This situation has raised questions among Ethereum investors about the factors behind this price drop and what is needed to reverse the trend. ETH buyers attributed their biggest hopes to protocol upgrades that significantly reduce the need for new tokens when transitioning to a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism.
The hopeful rise occurred in mid-September 2022, and the annual issuance rate was only 0.25% of the total supply. Additionally, the Shapella upgrade on April 12th addressed a major concern of investors by allowing them to withdraw from the native staking protocol. Previously, both the 32 ETH deposit and the rewards for participating in network consensus were locked indefinitely.
As these significant obstacles were overcome with minimal issues, confidence among Ethereum investors increased. They predicted that the Ethereum price would surpass $2,000, and this prediction came true on April 14th. However, this positive outlook was short-lived, and the price of ETH quickly declined to the same $1,850 level just one week later. Despite Ethereum experiencing a net withdrawal from staking, it saw a net inflow of 3.1 million ETH in the 30 days following the Shappela upgrade, exceeding even the most optimistic expectations.
Considering that the planned developments in the Ethereum network are generally progressing despite the usual delays, investors may need to explore other potential catalysts to reverse the current downward trend in ETH‘s price compared to BTC. One of these catalysts could be the ongoing legal battle between Ripple and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which could significantly affect Ethereum’s price momentum.
The SEC alleges that the sale of XRP to individual investors constitutes a securities offering. However, in July, Judge Analisa Torres ruled that XRP, especially when distributed through exchanges, is generally not classified as a security under SEC rules.