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Original Ethereum Outperforms ETH Despite Its ‘Institutional Evolution’

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 2 min read

The native token of the original Ethereum blockchain, Ethereum Classic (ETC), is rallying, rising nearly 50% in a day, outperforming Ethereum (ETH) despite its ‘institutional evolution’.

Source: Adobe/AlekseyIvanov

ETC, currently the 16th coin by market capitalization, is up by 47% in a day (7:20 UTC), almost reaching USD 79. It surged 134% in a week, and 444% in a month. Overall, in the past year, it appreciated 968%. Earlier on May 5, it hit an all-time high of USD 83.78.

Meanwhile, ETH is down by almost 3% in a day, while it appreciated more than ETC only in the yearly time frame, and by a substantial amount – ETH is up 1,465% in the past 12 months.

ETC’s 24-hour trading volume also jumped significantly, from USD 1.2bn on May 3, to USD 11.15bn on May 4, and USD 13.54bn recorded so far today – landing the coin on the 7th place by this metric. ETH is ranked 2nd, with USD 73.7bn today.

ETC price chart:


Barry Silbert, CEO of Digital Currency Group which owns Grayscale Investments, and who said he bought ETC back in 2016, noted the price growth as well, saying “$0.50 -> $50.00 ain’t too shabby.”

However, it’s not clear what has triggered this rally and who the buyers are. Some analysts speculate that the new buyers are choosing ETC as this is “a cheaper version of ETH.”

As reported, a development update was provided from the ETC Mantis project – a client written natively for Ethereum Classic. Development firm IOHK, which stands behind Cardano (ADA), has a dedicated Mantis team for this project, who have already deployed a fully supported testnet ‘Sagano’.

Meanwhile, a lot of ETH’s 2021 success has been driven by retail investors, said CoinMetrics, but it’s also seen an “institutional evolution.”

“Institutional investors started entering crypto at an unprecedented rate in 2020,” it said, though they have been slower to adopt ETH than bitcoin (BTC). Still “there are signs that ETH is finally starting to gain some momentum with institutions going into the summer.”

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) futures, launched in February, are one of the primary ways that institutional investors can get exposure to crypto, per CoinMetrics. CME ETH futures trading volume was relatively low in March, but it surged in April, reaching a daily high of over USD 500m. “ETH volume just started to hit new highs in April, and appears to still be ramping up,” it said.

Also, according to crypto exchange OKEx, in collaboration with crypto market data provider CryptoCompare, looking into growth of CME’s ETH futures, “the data collected from the closing months of 2020 until April 21, 2021 — coupled with evidence of strong capital inflows to ETH exchange-traded products and investment funds — paints a clear picture of increasing non-retail demand for ETH exposure.”

The launch of staking as part of an upgrade to Ethereum 2.0 appears to be contributing to the current rising demand, they find, but also, the upcoming EIP-1559, bringing forth a change to Ethereum’s monetary policy “looks set to strengthen ETH’s overall value proposition [and] may enhance the asset’s appeal among the planet’s wealthiest investors.”

Furthermore, per digital currency manager CoinShares, Ethereum saw inflows of USD 30m last week, bringing its total investment products under management to a record USD 13.9bn. The greatest inflows were into BTC with USD 442.
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