Open interest for Ethereum futures contracts hit $15.5 billion on Tuesday following rumors that the Securities and Exchange Commission was closer to approving ETH exchange-traded funds this week.

The sudden blast of optimism has fueled a rush of upward movement across markets, and CoinGlass data shows that open interest on all crypto exchanges was at a record of 4.13 million ETH—surging by 32% in 24 hours.

Deribit CEO Luuk Strijers told Decrypt that the trading volume was “unprecedented.”


“This surge [in futures trading] reflects the heightened market activity and interest as traders and investors position themselves to capitalize on the potential approval,” Strijers said. 

In the derivatives market, futures contracts are an agreement to buy or sell an asset at a specific price at a later date. They allow traders to speculate on movements in an asset’s price.

It’s a marked turnaround for the second largest cryptocurrency after months of hand wringing. Until this week, it was expected by industry observers and analysts that the SEC would not approve a spot ETH exchange traded fund (ETF) by the May 23 deadline. 

But yesterday, ETF analysts at Bloomberg said that they had heard Wall Street’s biggest regulator would go ahead and give the green light to the funds after fund managers started updating paperwork for the potential products. 

The price of ETH has rocketed as a result: ETH is currently trading at $3,752, according to CoinGecko, having shot up 19% in 24 hours. 


And it isn’t only ETH that is doing well: almost every other coin and token is up. Bitcoin, the biggest and oldest cryptocurrency, yesterday rocketed to over $70,000 per coin. It’s since dropped and is priced at $69,753. 

Meme coins and tokens have also surged, as have altcoins like Solana and Avalanche

Lots of top asset managers have filed paperwork with the SEC to release a spot ETH ETF in the United States.

If approved, ordinary investors could get exposure to ETH by buying shares that track the price of the cryptocurrency, which is the second biggest by market cap.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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