Ethereum in May 2024: Will ETF Approvals Boost ETH Price?

Ethereum in May 2024: Will ETF Approvals Boost ETH Price?

In May 2024, Ethereum’s ecosystem experienced significant activity and volatility, with the approval of Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) playing a crucial role. This report delves into the developments, challenges, and opportunities within the Ethereum landscape during this eventful month.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Volatile ETH Price Action:
    • Ethereum’s price remained highly volatile throughout May. The approval of spot Ethereum ETFs initially spiked the price, but sustaining gains above $4,000 proved challenging.
    • Research firm K33 estimated that new Ethereum ETFs could attract substantial investment capital, potentially ranging from $3.1 billion to $4.8 billion within the first five months of trading.
    • On-chain data revealed a decrease in Ethereum network activity, but a significant influx of new users suggested continued interest.
  2. Petra Upgrade Announcement:
    • Scheduled for Q1 2025, the Petra upgrade aims to optimize transaction processing and reduce latency across the Ethereum network.
  3. Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Migration:
    • ENS plans to migrate to Layer 2, aiming to reduce gas fees and improve transaction speed significantly.
  4. NFT Market Decline:
    • Ethereum’s NFT market experienced a drop in sales volume, falling from $1 billion in April to $624 million in May. Sales of Ethereum-based digital collectibles were particularly affected.

Ethereum Overview

Founded in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is a distributed blockchain platform designed for smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps). It has been instrumental in the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and Web3 applications. Ethereum employs a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, enhancing its scalability and sustainability.

Ethereum ETFs: Surge and Struggles

Throughout May, Ethereum’s price reflected market optimism mixed with underlying challenges. ETH began the month below $3,000 and saw several rallies, struggling to sustain gains above this threshold. The approval and anticipation of spot Ethereum ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fueled market sentiment, driving ETH’s price close to $4,000 by May 23. Despite this, ETH faced resistance and struggled to maintain levels above $3,900.

Green Light for Spot Ethereum ETFs

On May 23, the SEC approved spot Ethereum ETFs, marking a significant milestone. However, individual ETF applications still require approval, delaying actual trading. This uncertainty may have contributed to Ethereum’s inability to break through the $4,000 resistance level. Approved applications come from major industry players like VanEck, Grayscale, iShares, and Fidelity, allowing investors to buy shares tracking Ether’s price through brokerage accounts.

Investment Influx Potential

The approval of spot Ethereum ETFs is expected to bring substantial investment into the market. Research firm K33 estimates net inflows between $3.1 billion and $4.8 billion within the first five months of trading. This influx could absorb a significant amount of Ethereum from the market, potentially reducing circulating supply by 0.7% to 1.05%.

Ethereum On-Chain Data Analysis

Following the approval of eight spot Ether ETF listings, Ethereum saw $91.79 million in long liquidations. Additionally, on-chain data showed a decrease in ETH balance on exchanges, reaching a six-year low of 13.62 million ETH in May. There was also a decline in daily active addresses and transactions. Despite this, the number of new wallet addresses created rose from 3.26 million to 3.83 million, indicating growing interest.

Ethereum Supply and Upgrades

Dencun Upgrade Impact

The Dencun upgrade has made Ethereum inflationary by reducing transaction fees, which has decreased the amount of ETH burned. This shift potentially undermines the “ultra sound” money narrative and has led to the fastest daily growth in ETH supply since the Merge.

Petra Upgrade Announcement

Ethereum developers aim to release the Petra upgrade by Q1 2025. Building on the Dencun improvements, Petra will focus on optimizing transaction processing and reducing latency, further solidifying Ethereum’s position as the leading smart contract platform.

Ecosystem Updates and Innovations

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) Migration

ENS plans to migrate to Layer 2 to address high gas fees and slow transaction speeds. This move aims to make the service more accessible and efficient.

Conflict of Interest Policy

The Ethereum Foundation introduced a conflict of interest policy to address concerns about potential overlaps with EigenLayer, ensuring transparency and trust within the community.

Ethereum-Based Protocols and DEXs

Starknet’s Initiatives

Starknet announced a $25 million token incentive program and a $5 million Seed Grants Program to drive innovation and adoption.

Polygon’s ZK-Rollup and Taiko’s Launch

Polygon’s Miden entered the alpha testnet phase, while Taiko launched on the Ethereum mainnet with a genesis airdrop.

Uniswap’s Legal and Technical Developments

Uniswap faced regulatory scrutiny and introduced ERC-7683 to improve cross-chain interoperability.

Ethereum NFTs and Meme Coins

NFT Market Decline

NFT sales dropped from $1 billion in April to $624 million in May, with Ethereum-based digital collectibles significantly affected.

Rise of Ethereum-Based Meme Coins

Pepe (PEPE) led the surge in Ethereum-based meme coins, driven by the approval of Ethereum ETF filings and high-risk trading opportunities.


May 2024 was a pivotal month for Ethereum, marked by significant developments and challenges. The approval of Ethereum ETFs generated optimism, but sustaining price gains above $4,000 proved difficult. Despite a decrease in network activity, the influx of new users indicated continued interest. Upcoming upgrades and ecosystem innovations signal a dynamic future for Ethereum, with potential for substantial growth and increased adoption.

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