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Ethereum long-term holders hit record numbers in December


The amount of Ethereum (ETH) owned by long-term holders has reached a new milestone, hitting 70% since Dec. 1.

According to blockchain analytics firm IntoTheBlock, this is noteworthy as it puts Ethereum ahead of Bitcoin (BTC) per the same metric, which hovered just shy of 70%.

Some market watchers consider the rise in the proportion of ETH held by these holders as showcasing a conviction in the cryptocurrency’s long-term potential.

The record comes amidst predictions that the time for Ethereum to outshine Bitcoin is fast approaching.  On Dec. 23, well-known crypto analyst Raoul Pal reiterated an earlier prediction suggesting 2024 could see ETH and BTC repeat their 2021 cycle.

In that year, ETH went on to outpace BTC’s performance, growing by 254% to Bitcoin’s 45% after initially falling behind.

Pal’s outlook was mirrored in a cautiously optimistic forecast from JPMorgan analysts, who, despite their overall conservative attitude towards the crypto market, predicted ETH will outpace BTC and other digital assets in market price performance by 2024.

This upbeat outlook on ETH, as conveyed by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou and his team, is tied to the significant EIP-4844 upgrade, known as protodanksharding. Set for launch in the first half of 2024, this upgrade is expected to significantly enhance Ethereum’s network performance by implementing a more efficient sharding method.

Despite the current price action still lagging behind Bitcoin’s level, more analysts also feel the recent impressive performance of altcoins and L2 projects hints at an impending ETH rally, with the cryptocurrency currently priced at $2,300—a 4.3% increase over the past seven days and an 88.6% increase over 12 months.

Yet, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has recently raised eyebrows by transferring 500 ETH, valued at over $1 million, to Coinbase, as per onchain analysts.

This follows a series of significant transfers made by Buterin in September and his statement in October that he hasn’t “sold Ether for personal gain since 2018.”

The recent activity in Buterin’s Ethereum wallet, including a $3.79 million transfer in ETH over ten days in September, led to speculation of him selling his crypto holding, which he later clarified as being for philanthropy rather than personal gain.

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