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Ether On Exchanges Plummets To 4-Year Low Ahead Of The Merge

Ether held on exchanges has dropped 40% in the past year to 19M ETH.

Ether On Exchanges Plummets To 4-Year Low Ahead Of The Merge

Ether held on cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase hit a four-year low on Thursday.

Centralized exchanges held 19M ETH early Thursday, down from an all-time high of almost 32M ETH in the summer of 2020, according to data from Glassnode. The last time CeFi exchanges held less than 20M ETH was in July 2018.

Source: Glassnode

Among exchanges tracked by Glassnode, Huobi accounted for the most significant drop over the past four years. In the summer of 2018, it held 5M ETH. This week, it was down to less than 40,000 ETH.

Coinbase also saw a steep decline, from 8M in custody four years ago to 5M this week.

Meanwhile, outflows from exchanges tracked by Glassnode hit a 13-month high.

The surge in outflows suggests that traders are holding on to their Ether in the hopes of a continued rally. Sentiment has undoubtedly been buoyed by Ethereum developers setting a tentative September date for The Merge, the network’s long-awaited transition to proof-of-stake.

ECB Hikes 50bps

In other market news, the European Central Bank raised interest rates by 50 basis points on Thursday for the first time in 11 years.

The decision took investors by surprise as the ECB had signaled a 25 basis point hike at its last meeting.

Nevertheless, crypto markets were relatively calm on Thursday, with little sign of the steep sell-offs that have followed rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve this year.

Tesla Offloads BTC

With the exception of Bitcoin — still reeling from Tesla’s Wednesday disclosure that it had sold nearly $1B of the digital currency — the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization were all trading higher on Thursday, according to data from The Defiant’s newly released charting tool.

Inflation Risks

“Maybe because the distance to current inflation rate (ca. 10%) is still too high [such] that 0.5% does not matter for the market anymore?” Philipp Sandner, the founder of the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center at Germany’s Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, mused on Twitter.

At a news conference in Frankfurt on Thursday, ECB President Christine Lagarde said the bank’s decision to raise rates by 50 basis points, rather than 25, was “based on our updated assessment of inflation risks.”

“The frontloading today of the exit from negative interest rates allows us to make a transition to a meeting-by-meeting approach to our interest rate decisions,” Lagarde said. “Our future policy rate path will continue to be data-dependent and will help us deliver on our two per cent inflation target over the medium term.”