While Bitcoin tops $22K, Ethereum hits new year-to-date highs

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While Bitcoin (BTC) hits new all-time highs, Ethereum has also tagged new year-to-date highs following news the Chicago Mercantile Exchange aims to launch ETH futures contracts in 2021.
Bitcoin spiked into new highs on Dec. 16, gaining 10% in one day from $19,140 to $21,340. Dec. 17 has seen BTC extend the rally by a further 4% so far — with the market searching for support around $21,800 now, after posting a local top of $22,160.
While many traders and investors seem to be glued to the Bitcoin charts, Ethereum also pushed into new yearly highs after gaining 8.5% yesterday. Today the price surged to a local top of $656 on BitMEX, with the markets currently hovering half a percent above yesterday’s closing price of $640.
The rally followed news that CME plans to launch ETH futures in 2021 pending regulatory approval. It cited strong customer demand for the product.
CME launched its Bitcoin futures contracts in December 2017, which signaled the top of that year’s historic rally.
Some estimate even greater moves upwards for ETH to come. Twitter user ‘Altcoin Sherpa’ said that ETH has started multi-month rallies in December that saw gains of at least 100% for each of the past three years. As such, the analyst sees Ethereum hits new highs above $1,000 soon.
Ethereum perma-bull ‘wolfofethereum.eth’ speculated that “the $ETH show is just getting started,” highlighting that ETH has outperformed BTC by 185% over the past 12 months.
Set Protocol’s Anthony Sassano posted an image comparing the metrics for Ethereum when it last broke $500 and the situation now — noting a 900% rise in active developers, an 80% increase in 24-hour transaction count, a 60% increase in active addresses, and a 150% increase in network hashrate.
ETH/BTC shorts on Bitfinex are currently sitting at record lows, suggesting the markets expect Ethereum to make gains over BTC for the foreseeable future. ETH/BTC longs are at their highest level since February 2018.

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