Ethereum’s Ether (ETH) has “underperformed” compared to Bitcoin (BTC) this cycle, and new holders now risk falling into losses.

In the latest edition of its newsletter, “The Week On-Chain” on May 7, analytics firm Glassnode revealed the role of speculators in ETH price support.

Ethereum speculators on the edge of “panic”

Both Bitcoin and Ether have seen downside price action following the former’s latest block subsidy halving in April.

For Ethereum bulls, however, the past few weeks have hit hard after BTC/USD witnessed one of its biggest drawdowns since the FTX debacle in late 2022.

“For Ethereum, we can see a similar drawdown structure, with notably shallower corrections since the FTX lows. This hits to a degree of resilience during pullbacks, as well as a net reduction in volatility across the digital asset space,” Glassnode wrote.

“However, it is worth noting that Ethereum’s deepest drawdown of the cycle has been -44%, which is just over twice as severe as Bitcoin’s at -21%. This highlights Ethereum’s relative under-performance over last 2 years, which is manifesting in a weaker ETH/BTC ratio also.”

Ethereum bull market drawdowns annotated chart (screenshot). Source: Glassnode

While the extent of ETH price drawdowns is declining, certain investor cohorts now face falling into the red on their holdings.

Ethereum’s short-term holders (STHs) — entities holding coins for 155 days or less — have their aggregate cost basis right at $3,000.

ETH/USD continues to trade at around that level, with a brief dip below it last week quickly bought up, per data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView.

ETH/USD 12-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Analyzing Ethereum’s market value to realized value (MVRV) metric, Glassnode suggested that a fresh market drop could prompt panic among these entities. MVRV measures unrealized profit and loss, here for STHs, at a given price.

“Ethereum’s STH-MVRV is trading at a very slight premium at the moment, which could suggest that spot prices are very close to the cost basis of recent buyers, who may panic should the market experience downside volatility,” it warned.

Ethereum STH realized price annotated chart (screenshot). Source: Glassnode

No appetite for profittaking

Summarizing, Glassnode acknowledged that the market was waiting for signals from United States regulators over the fate of the spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Related: Bitcoin could soon ‘BLOW higher’ on bullish candle hammer — Glassnode execs

Long-term holders, or LTHs, meanwhile, appear to be unwilling to sell en masse at current prices despite many already achieving healthy profit margins.

“If we examine the Spent Volume in Profit for LTHs, we can see that the cohort of BTC holders who have held for between 6 months and 2 years increased their divestment during the ATH rally,” the newsletter continued.

“From this lens, Ethereum’s Long-Term Holders once again appear to still be waiting for better profit-taking opportunities.”

Ethereum spent volume in profit for 6-month to 3-year holders (screenshot). Source: Glassnode

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.



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