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Ether Prices Rally To Fresh, All-Time High Above $4,400

Ether prices climbed to their latest record high today, building upon the sharp gains they have enjoyed in recent months.

The world’s second-largest digital currency by market value reached $4,401.89 after 9 p.m. EDT, CoinDesk figures show.

Upon reaching this value, the cryptocurrency was up more than 46% this month, additional CoinDesk data reveals.

Further, ether had rallied an impressive 497.5% year-to-date.

After climbing to this latest zenith, the digital asset pulled back somewhat, but it was still trading at $4,368.80 at the time of this writing.

[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]

There are a few developments that coincided with this recent gains and could help explain what pushed ether prices to a fresh, all-time high.

Options Expiry

Tomorrow, more than $1 billion worth of ether options expire, and many of these are highly bullish, according to data pulled from information provider Bybt.

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The figures show that investors placed some highly optimistic bets, with many purchasing call options on ether with a $5,000 strike price.

Call options with this strike price had an open interest of more than 116,000 ether at the time of this writing, additional Bybt figures show.

Unless the digital currency manages to rise significantly before the options expiry takes place tomorrow, the aforementioned contracts will expire worthless.

However, traders purchased ether call options contracts with lower strike prices, which could end up being profitable.

According to a Cointelegraph analysis, investors who own these derivatives contracts have a vested interest in keeping the digital currency’s price above $4,200, as doing so would result in more than $200 million worth of profit for the bulls.

ETF Speculation

Another possible reason why ether has climbed lately is anticipation surrounding the approval of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) linked to the digital currency.

After the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF a green light, many have been wondering whether the government agency will do the same for an ether ETF.

Carlo di Florio, who lectures at Columbia University and was a director for the SEC, told MarketWatch that the regulator may very well approve an ETF linked to ether futures before it gives anyone permission to list a bitcoin spot ETF.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulates futures contracts, which are available on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a global marketplace for these derivatives.

“That’s what got the SEC comfortable with allowing this [bitcoin futures ETF] product. You don’t see that with the underlying [physical bitcoin],” di Florio told MarketWatch.

He stated that the regulator might be more likely to approve an ether futures ETF “because it’s futures,” “and it follows the same path that got the SEC comfortable with the Bitcoin futures ETF. So they’re likely to benefit from the same regulatory comfort.”

Disclosure: I own some bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ether, EOS and sol.

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