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Bitcoin vs Ethereum: How they have fared since January’s ETF approval

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Despite sharing a statistically positive correlation with BTC, ETH has faced a series of headwinds since January. 

Bitcoin vs Ethereum: How the kings have fared since BTC's ETF approval

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  • Ethereum has recorded low capital inflows since January compared to Bitcoin.
  • ETH’s long-term holders continue to wait for a new all-time high.

Leading altcoin Ethereum [ETH] has underperformed compared to Bitcoin [BTC] since January, Glassnode found in a new report

According to the on-chain data provider, while BTC, aided in part by the US spot exchange-traded funds (ETF), has seen significant capital inflows since the beginning of the year, ETH has recorded a decline in trading activity. 

ETH remains in BTC’s shadows

Following the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs on the 10th of January, Glassnode data shows a significant divergence in Net Unrealized Profit/Loss (NUPL) between BTC and ETH.

In its report, the on-chain analytics firm noted that this suggests that BTC’s investors have captured a larger share of profits compared to their ETH counterparts since then.

The NUPL metric determines whether an asset’s holders are experiencing unrealized gains or losses. It compares the average purchase price of all tokens held by investors to the current market price.

If the market price is higher, there is a net-unrealized profit, while if it is lower, there is a net-unrealized loss.

According to Glassnode, a significant threshold for the NUPL is when the value exceeds 0.5. This is because it signals that an asset’s unrealized profit is greater than 50% of its total market capitalization.

Glassnode said,

“Amidst the hype and market rally surrounding (the) approval of the spot Bitcoin ETFs, the unrealized profit of Bitcoin holders expanded considerably faster than that of Ethereum investors. As a result, the Bitcoin NUPL metric crossed 0.5 and entered the euphoria phase three months before than equivalent metric for Ethereum.” 

BTC and ETH NUPL

Source: Glassnode

Further, ETH has yet to see a strong inflow of new capital as BTC has since spot ETFs became tradeable in the US.

Glassnode assessed the Short-Term Holders’ Realized Cap for both coins and found that ETH’s remains low.

This suggests reduced activity from the coin’s short-term investors, whose actions are known to significantly influence an asset’s price performance. 

The report further stated,

“In many ways, this lack of new capital inflows is a reflection of the under-performance of ETH relative to BTC. This is likely in part due to the attention and access brought about by the spot Bitcoin ETFs.” 

On why this might be happening, Glassnode added:

“The market is still awaiting the SEC’s decision for approval of a suite of ETH ETFs expected towards the end of May.”


Is your portfolio green? Check out the ETH Profit Calculator


Due to the difference in the performance of the coins, BTC and ETH’s long-term holders (LTHs) have adopted different strategies.

While BTC’s LTHs have let go of some of their holdings to book profits following the coin’s rally to a new all-time high, ETH’s LTHs –

“Appear to still be waiting for better profit-taking opportunities.”

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Abiodun is a full-time journalist working with AMBCrypto. He is also a lawyer with over 2 years of experience. With a keen interest in blockchain technology and its limitless possibilities, Abiodun spends his time understanding the technology, building projects, and educating people about it.
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