We research all brands listed and may earn a fee from our partners. Research and financial considerations may influence how brands are displayed. Not all brands are included. Learn more.

Published: May 22, 2024 5 min read

Money is not a client of any investment adviser featured on this page. The information provided on this page is for educational purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Money does not offer advisory services.

A cryptocurrency coin jumping a hurdle
Rangely García for Money

Crypto prices are once again on the rise, and this time it's based on increased investor access to ethereum rather bitcoin.

From Monday to Tuesday, bitcoin (BTC) prices rose 7.8%, with ethereum (ETH) gaining 19.24%. The principal driver of these increases is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's pending approval of spot ETH exchange-traded funds. These ETFs would track the spot (or current price) of ETH, providing investors with an alternative means of gaining exposure to the second largest digital asset by market cap.

Speculation surrounding the SEC's decision has had a cascading effect across the crypto market, driving up prices for large cap cryptos as well as meme coins. In the first 24 hours of trading this week, Binance (BNB), Solana (SOL) and Polkadot (DOT) saw prices appreciate to the tune of 4.55%, 6.92% and 7.93%, respectively, while Dogecoin (DOGE) gained 6.66% and Shiba Inu (SHIB) rose 8.7%.

While prices for these cryptos leveled off or in some cases fell slightly on Wednesday, most are near record highs. Whether the current rally sustains largely depends on the SEC's decision to approve or deny spot ETH ETFs.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Build your ultimate crypto portfolio
Coinbase provides a versatile crypto trading platform suitable for all levels of investors, offering both power and user-friendliness in one space. Start your investment journey today by clicking on your state below!
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
Start Investing

Is approval for ethereum ETFs coming?

The SEC must rule on spot ether ETF applications by Thursday, May 23. If the governing agency does approves of them, it could serve as an enormous boon for ETH prices.

Some analysts have speculated that approval of spot ETH ETFs could spark massive inflows, matching or even exceeding that of spot BTC ETFs, which were approved in the beginning of 2024.

According to the crypto news site CCN.com, "Since the first spot Bitcoin ETFs started trading in January, 11 funds have attracted net inflows of over $13 billion. This means the funds accumulated $59 billion worth of assets in less than five months."

However, according to Martin Leinweber, a CFA, digital asset product strategist with MarketVector Indexes and co-author of Mastering Crypto Assets, just because spot BTC ETFs saw immediate inflows doesn't necessarily mean that'll be the case with ethereum.

"The long-term impact of Ethereum ETFs is still not fully priced in by the market," Leinweber says. "Initially, the market was caught off guard ... Unlike the Bitcoin ETF, which had extensive marketing and buildup, the Ethereum ETF lacked similar preparations and hype."

That lack of publicity is partly due to the SEC's unanticipated shift in sentiment — something Leinweber thinks could inhibit initial demand and slow the rate of inflows compared to what spot BTC ETFs experienced in the first several months of the year.

"For the Bitcoin ETF, there was a high level of anticipation with ads, education sessions and overall market excitement, leading to its highly successful launch," he says. "In contrast, the Ethereum ETF faced skepticism about its approval, resulting in no significant promotional efforts. The sudden turnaround by the SEC left little time to generate similar excitement."

Nonetheless, according to Leinweber, "The long-term potential remains strong, but the immediate effects might be more subdued compared to Bitcoin’s ETF launch." The chartered financial analyst says to "expect 20–30% of flows of what we’ve seen for the Bitcoin ETF."

Looming deadline for the SEC

Numerous spot ETH ETF issuers have been making last-minute changes to their regulatory filings ahead of Thursday's deadline, mirroring what many spot bitcoin ETF issuers did based on feedback from the SEC in the lead-up to their approval this past January.

Notably, on Wednesday morning, Nasdaq filed an updated form for spot ETH ETF offered by BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager.

If SEC approval is granted, it could provide investors with another means of accessing digital assets without requiring the technical knowhow of blockchain technology, decentralized exchanges or crypto wallets.

On Monday, Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, posted on X that he is "increasing our odds of spot Ether ETF approval to 75% (up from 25%), hearing chatter this afternoon that SEC could be doing a 180 on this (increasingly political issue)."

Founded in 2013 by programmer Vitalik Buterin, ETH has risen 30,926.61% in price since its inception. The coin currently boasts a $444 billion market cap, second only to BTC's $1.37 trillion.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer

Secure vault, user-friendly interface, and FDIC insured

Alternative Investing Options
  • User-friendly interface on all devices
  • Secure vault with time-delayed withdrawals
  • FDIC-insured deposits up to $250,000

Zero wallets hacked since 2018

  • Purchase crypto securely - directly to your wallet
  • Powered by MPC cryptography 
  • 3-factor-authentication recovery model
  • Secure wallet recovery - never worry about losing your seed phrase again
  • 24/7 live in-app support.

Only–hardware wallet to use a Secure Element

Only–hardware wallet to use a Secure Element 

  • Protection from online hacks, malware and software attacks
  • Capable of generating private keys and creating blockchain accounts
  • Companion tools that allow you to navigate the blockchain ecosystem with confidence
  • Protect your private keys in an offline environment 

More from Money:

Bitcoin Spot ETF Approval Could Get 'Millions More Investors' Into Crypto

10 Best Crypto Wallets

Bitcoin Just Set a New All-Time High. What's Next?

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
Start investing in crypto with Coinbase