Ever since Black Thursday on March 12th, uncertainty has reigned on Wall Street and in the cryptoeconomy, though traders have traded on in spite.
There’s been no shortage of market volatility — both upward and downward — since that fateful Thursday, when the COVID-19 virus officially became a global pandemic and an oil price war kicked off between Russia and Saudi Arabia. That volatility continued on Monday, April 6th, but this time in upward fashion when stocks, gold, and the top cryptocurrencies rallied intraday.
Why this latest acute burst of buy pressure, then? Gloom is still on, as there are now more than 364,000 COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and social distancing in the country has caused unemployment there to skyrocket. Yet daily confirmed deaths were reportedly down over the weekend in hard hit places like New York state, Italy, and Spain.
That decline in deaths led to an intraday gust of optimism throughout many of the world’s markets, crypto included. However, the public’s health and the future of the global economy will ultimately remain mired in uncertainty so long as the pandemic is still as rooted as it is.
ETH Sees Big Daily Spike
When regular markets closed on Monday, bitcoin had risen to $7,300 for a climb of 7 percent on the day. Wall Street’s top stock indexes, the Dow Jones, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite, were all up 7 percent in the same span, too.
In comparison, ether had traded up 16 percent by that point, hovering around $165 in the early evening. After hours — at least for traditional markets — even further buy pressure pushed the ETH price past $171.
Crazy day in markets.
BTC closes up over 7% ⬆️
ETH closes up almost 16% ⬆️
SP500 up 7%⬆️ https://t.co/Gl3azwv8pc
— Jacob Franek (@panekkkk) April 6, 2020
That +16 percent gain for ETH was the best performance by any of the top 15 cryptocurrencies on the day. Interestingly, the other top gainers were EOS (+15%) and Cardano (+10%), which are also smart contract platforms like Ethereum.
Here, it’s worth noting that ETH’s April 6th rally comes after the crypto has been among the hardest hit assets of any kind since Black Thursday.
Last week, The Block Director of Research Larry Cermak noted at the time that only the oil price had fared worse than ETH since March 12th.
S&P 500 is down 25% since the peak but what about all the other indices, sectors and commodities? Gold is the only best performing asset with a return of 0.3% since February. Ethereum is nearly the worst-performing. Only beat by oil. Bitcoin is also among the worst-performers pic.twitter.com/gvskZAtncZ
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) March 30, 2020
The April 6th rally suggests ETH is being traded as a risk-on asset at the moment, and thus that some traders are betting that global health and economic conditions will improve from here.
Of course, outside the context of the current macro conditions, the fundamentals of Ethereum are strong. The march toward Ethereum 2.0 and the advance of the decentralized finance, or DeFi, movement are promising. Yet speaking to ETH the crypto as a risk-on asset, it seems easily possible the ETH price could still go quite lower if the COVID-19 pandemic — and its ensuing economic implications — do take more turns for the worse.
Altogether, perhaps the most likely path forward is that COVID-19 is going to keep posing considerable problems in the short-term for the world and that volatility in the markets will keep reigning in the interim accordingly.
ETH Returns to January Levels
Ether’s April 6th price surge brings the second-largest cryptocurrency back to price levels it last saw in late January, at a time when global markets still hadn’t been overwhelmed by the COVID-19 crisis.
— santi (@santisiri) April 6, 2020
The grand question for now, then, is if ETH can keep up its latest burst of momentum. Both the bears and bulls have their cases and are making their trades accordingly. If the past few weeks have taught us anything, though, it’s that we should be ready for anything.