On November 10, the main Ethereum token reached an all-time exchange price near $5,00; since then, ETH/USD has been on a gradually bearish streak that some analysts believe could soon reach $3,600, but many bullish traders are shrugging this off.
According to data from the Cryptocurrency Price Index (CPI), ETH/USD contracts are seeing a steady rise in volume, and some predict a rally to $5,000 in the coming days. This positive forecast would imply ETH separating from Bitcoin, which is not expected to experience a Santa Claus rally this year.
Last year’s Santa Claus rally for the cryptocurrency market started on December 8, and it did not require a boost from Wall Street. Ethereum rallied through January 3 before starting to pull back at a rapid pace. This was the best rally for ETH since 2013.
Bitcoin’s main competitors (Ethereum, XRP, Ripple, Litecoin) have not experienced the same rally, but even so, they have seen price performance improvements. Last week, Ethereum increased in price by more than 10% compared to Ripple, while XRP fell by more than 5% compared to ETH.
This suggests a bullish divergence is taking place within the cryptocurrency market, implying an upward movement in one market with the other falling. A major factor in ETH’s rally last year was the anticipation of the Constantinople update. On the horizon is the Casper update that will make PoS more efficient and secure. Additionally, ETH is also scheduled to undergo the Byzantium upgrade, which will include a move from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake.
If these upgrades are successful, this would put ETH in the same league as other cryptocurrencies such as XRP and Litecoin that also underwent upgrades in the past year. This would make the market bullish and cause Ethereum’s price to increase further.
If ETH performs well next year, it could be the next cryptocurrency to challenge Bitcoin. If it does so, it will likely become the leading cryptocurrency among the top 20 tokens in terms of trading volume. In the cryptocurrency market, ETH is still the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, but other tokens are starting to catch up in this regard.