Ether's price surged by 31.3% from March 10 to March 18, coinciding with the Federal Reserve’s injection of $300 billion to address the insolvency of Silicon Valley Bank. Since then, Ether’s (ETH) price has consistently maintained a daily closing price above $1,600.
However, investors are now casting doubt on Ether’s ability to sustain this support level, given the prevailing bearish sentiment in the cryptocurrency space and declining metrics on the Ethereum network.
Over the past six months, the cryptocurrency sector has been plagued by negative developments. Notably, the Digital Currency Group (DCG), the owner of the Grayscale mutual fund manager, has faced financial troubles. Concerns are mounting that a portion of the $4.8 billion worth of ETH deposits held in the Grayscale Ethereum Trust could be liquidated to address DCG's debts.
Furthermore, two major global exchanges, Binance and Coinbase, are currently facing legal action from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Additionally, investors initially expressed excitement when several requests for futures-based Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) surfaced in early August. However, it's important to note that these instruments, unlike spot ETFs, would not involve actual ETH coins if approved.
On-chain metrics point to declining demand
Aside from a handful of unfavorable market conditions, Ethereum’s on-chain metrics point to a stagnation in demand, both in terms of ETH investments and smart contract transactions.
Notably, the number of Ethereum addresses holding a minimum of $1,000 worth of ETH deposits has reached its lowest level in nearly six months. This is concerning, considering that Ether’s price reached a peak of $2,130 in mid-April, which should have attracted new investors.
Part of the lack of investor interest can be attributed to the fact that Ethereum’s average transaction fee has remained above $4 for the past six months. Consequently, despite fluctuations in network staking metrics, there appears to be no increase in the total number of investors when using the $1,000 threshold as a proxy.
Moreover, data on decentralized application (DApps) activity on the Ethereum network corroborates the notion of a dearth of new users.
Even excluding the significant 60% decline in the Uniswap NFT Aggregator, the average number of active addresses across the top Ethereum network DApps decreased by 4% compared to the previous month.
From cryptocurrency games to decentralized exchanges, nonfungible token marketplaces and Web3 services, every sector has witnessed a decline in the number of active users, according to DappRadar. Regarding token activity on the network, with the exception of stablecoins and Wrapped ETH, no project has recorded more than 13,000 unique receiver addresses over the past week.
This analysis underscores the fact that Ethereum’s network is currently constrained by its relatively high transaction fees, which limits the number of active users. Without an uptick in network activity, the catalysts for a price recovery are lacking, such as potential network upgrades and implementations that could lead to lower costs or enhanced user privacy.
Competitors are benefiting from the stablecoin volumes
In the meantime, recent developments have left Ethereum enthusiasts somewhat disappointed. Visa, the payment processor, has incorporated Solana blockchain settlement capabilities, following Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) introducing native accounts and transfers on the Base chain. In response, Coinbase promptly announced its intention to assist partners in converting old, bridged versions of USDC to the new format.
Furthermore, Rune Christensen, co-founder of MakerDAO, has put forth a proposal to develop the decentralized finance project's upcoming native chain based on Solana's codebase despite its longstanding affiliation with Ethereum.
In light of the prevailing bearish sentiment in the cryptocurrency market, which includes exchanges facing legal challenges from the SEC and diminishing interest in cryptocurrencies, as indicated by the latest Google Trends data, the likelihood of Ether’s price dipping below the $1,600 support level has increased.
This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal or investment advice. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.