Ethereum (ETH) activated staking withdrawals this week, coinciding with a swell in open interest for futures contracts — now at its highest point since Apr. 2022.
Open interest reflects the total number of futures contracts, both long and short, that are yet to close out or settle.
On Friday morning, there was more than $7.6 billion in ETH open interest, per CoinGlass.
- Binance saw more than $3 billion, just shy of August, when crypto was staging a recovery after the Terra debacle.
- OKX open interest hit $1.39 billion, its highest point in almost 18 months.
- Bybit clocked a 16-month high with $1.24 billion.
All-time high ETH open interest was recorded in Nov. 2021, the very top of the last bull run, at $11.2 billion.
Higher open interest can reflect increased market activity, liquidity and volatility in the derivatives market. Upward trajectory could potentially reinforce the current price uptrend, according to data analytics firm CryptoQuant.
ETH has just crossed $2,100 for the first time since May 2022, up 13% over the past five days and 76% year to date.
ETH open interest spiked in the hours after the Shapella upgrade
Bitcoin open interest is also rising, hitting $13.4 billion to reach its highest point in six months. BTC has jumped 8.5% over the past five days, now up 85% so far this year.
Analysts predict Ethereum’s Shapella upgrade, which allowed ETH stakers to join a withdrawal queue, will have a minimal impact on price long term, though volatility has been flagged as a concern in the short term.
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature last month may have contributed to renewed interest in major cryptocurrencies, Sylvia To, research lead at crypto exchange Bullish told Blockworks.
“Liquidity is also thin in the market so this has helped exacerbate price action, meaning it doesn’t take much to move the market,” To said. “While there’s no definitive way to know who the buy walls were from, it does seem like there’s new interest in the market.”