Ether reached an all-time high of $2,800 on April 29. Its futures open interest also reached a record value. The $8.5 billion mark is a 52% increase over the previous month. It indicates strong trading action is behind the fast price boost.

Some market analysts might skip the Ether derivatives because they pale in comparison to the amount Bitcoin has. However, Ether's contracts are only a few months old. Two exchanges, FTX and Deribit, hold $2 billion in open interest in Ether.

To look at it another way, the open interest of silver interest is $22.6 billion. Silver has been trading for decades. It has a $1.4 trillion market cap. To figure out whether or not Ether's futures are in a bull market, it's important to look at the futures premium. This examines the price gap between the regular spot market and the futures contract pricing. The three-month futures should have a premium in the range of 10% to 20%.

Looking at what happened in April, Ether's futures premium was all over the place. It peaked at 45%. Fear of missing out on the part of traders probably played a role. Some traders use monthly futures contracts, but a few use perpetual contracts. The perpetual contracts are known in the industry as inverse swaps. Their funding rate changes every eight hours. It goes up when there's higher leverage. If there's a buying frenzy, the fee can get up to 5.5% each week. That'a a 300% annual fee.

The eight-hour funding rate peaked at 0.18% in April. That's equivalent to 3.8% for one week. Its impact has faded as the funding rate dropped at the end of the month. Overall, this market analysis demonstrates that professional traders have more of a bull outlook on Ether than the retail investors do. That's because the three-month basis is at 25% per year. That rate is higher than most of what the stable coin lenders offer. The longs are willing to pay a premium to keep their spots open. Retail traders should continue to keep their eyes on these measures of the professional traders.