Last week, the crypto market experienced a surge in momentum following the news that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, had filed an application for a spot Ether (ETH) exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This marked the second time in 2023 that BlackRock’s ETF application had ignited a broad rally in the crypto market, the first being for a spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETF. While the approval of a spot BTC ETF is widely anticipated by industry analysts, there are concerns about the approval of an Ether ETF due to uncertainties surrounding the status of Ethereum as a commodity or security. However, David Waugh, business development and communications specialist at Coinbits, believes that BlackRock’s move indicates the company’s commitment to expanding its presence in the cryptocurrency space. Waugh also mentions the pressure from members of Congress to support the industry and the SEC’s recent loss in the Grayscale case, which makes it challenging for the agency to issue blanket denials on firms’ applications. The news of the spot ETH ETF has already caused short-term positive price movement, and if approved, institutional investors are expected to increase their buying, creating upward price pressure. However, the absence of staking rewards for spot ETF shares may impact demand. Despite this, the approval of spot ETFs will attract more attention to Ethereum compared to other alternative layer-1 blockchains. Experts like Petr Kozyakov, co-founder and CEO of Mercuryo, and Pelli Wang, co-founder of Bracket Labs, have expressed confidence in the approval of BlackRock’s ETF applications due to the company’s reputation and standing within the investment community. Wang also believes that the application will help Ether catch up with other tokens that have seen significant increases in 2023. She predicts that Ether may trend sideways in the medium term but has the potential to reach $10,000 in the long term due to the development of layer-two’s, decentralized applications (dApps), and games built on top of Ethereum. The application filing by BlackRock has been deemed bullish news for the crypto market by James Koutoulas, president and co-founder of the Commodity Customer Coalition. Rahul Maradiya, co-founder and global CEO of CIFDAQ, considers BlackRock’s ETF applications as a major turnaround for the company’s CEO, Larry Fink. Maradiya believes that ETFs make crypto more accessible to a broader spectrum of traders and expects ETH to see gains of 5-7% by the end of the calendar year and up to 20% by July 2023. Additionally, Guy Gotslak, co-founder and president of My Digital Money, predicts that billions of dollars will flow into Ether, pushing its price back to its all-time high of $4,644 by next year. He also anticipates a return to the true value of assets, independent of government control, as the economy unravels and matures. Gotslak envisions Ethereum becoming the most used blockchain by different industries, crossing $20,000 in the long term.
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