Ether (ETH), the cryptocurrency that powers the smart-contract-enabled Ethereum blockchain, fell under $1,500 and hit its lowest level in nearly a month in the $1460s on Monday. At current levels in the $1,480s, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization was last trading about 2.0% lower on the day, with losses from earlier monthly highs in the $1,700s now over 13%. That still leaves the cryptocurrency up around 25% on the year, though gains such as these can quickly be given back in crypto markets.
Regulatory Concerns Weigh on ETH
The cryptocurrency market continues to suffer from fears about aggressive US regulatory action. Reports surfaced over the weekend that the US SEC is going to sue US-based BUSD stablecoin issuer Paxos Trust Co. for breaking investor protection laws over offering stablecoins unregistered securities. The move has drawn significant criticism from the crypto community, given skepticism regarding how investors can have an “expectation of profit” when buying a stablecoin like BUSD, which is designed to be stable in price.
This comes after Kraken came to a settlement with the SEC and shuttered its crypto-staking program, which the SEC had also labeled as an unregistered security. Since the Ethereum blockchain’s switch to a proof-of-stake mechanism in September 2022, US regulatory action against staking services in the US is creating uncertainty for Ethereum network validators.
Head of business development for the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) that managed Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocol Lido Finance Jacob Blish recently said the move by the SEC to crack down on staking might have uncertain consequences for Decentralized Finance. Lido Finance is the largest decentralized finance protocol offering ETH liquid staking services.
Elsewhere, executives from Coinbase, the largest US-based exchange, which also operates an ETH staking service, this weekend said they would “happily defend” staking in US courts.
Price Prediction – Where Next for ETH?
Ether has for now found support at its 50-Day Moving Average (DMA) around $1,470, but a test of the 200DMA at $1,440 is a possibility if regulatory concerns continue to dampen near-term sentiment. However, traders may be reluctant to chase another big push lower on Monday, given the proximity of Tuesday’s key US Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for January, which will further inform the outlook for US Federal Reserve policy.
A downside surprise could give ETH some respite and see the cryptocurrency recover back into the $1,500s. However, an upside surprise to consensus, which is already forecasting a MoM acceleration in price pressures, could trigger a drop to the next major area of resistance. This is around $1,350, where the December high, 100DMA and an uptrend from November/December all reside.
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ETH Alternatives to Consider
As discussed above, ETH’s near-term outlook is patchy. Traders looking for quick gains may prefer to consider other high-potential tokens, such as those being sold in pre-sale by promising up-and-coming crypto projects. We’ve reviewed some of the best candidates in this list of the top 15 cryptocurrencies for 2023, as analyzed by the CryptoNews Industry Talk team.
The list is updated weekly with new altcoins and ICO projects.
Disclaimer: The Industry Talk section features insights by crypto industry players and is not a part of the editorial content of Cryptonews.com.