In an up-and-down day for Ethereum Classic (ETC), the coin traded as high as $5.29 this morning before settling at just below $5.00. Nonetheless, its current mark represents a 30% gain since March 13—when most cryptocurrencies bottomed out. Further, ETC has more or less held its price since a March 16 block reward reduction.
While the currency is not in the top 20 by market cap and doesn’t hold much sway in comparison to Bitcoin or even Ripple, its upward trajectory since March 13, when most of the industry’s top coins fell to drastic lows due to fear and panic surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, signals that the fortunes of smaller-cap coins have risen alongside BTC.
On March 13, ETC fell to $3.80—a steep drop from the near $10 it was enjoying in February. Despite these harsh circumstances, ETC has pulled itself out of the gutter and has spent the last two weeks traversing through the high $4 and low $5 ranges.
ETC’s bounce took place just ahead of its second block reward reduction, which occurred on March 16. ETC had recently hit 10 million blocks; block rewards reduce roughly 20 percent every five million blocks, meaning miners earn less for every coin minted. The first reduction for ETC occurred in December 2017. Reductions are slated to continue until the asset hits its limit of 210.7 million tokens.
Block reward reductions can have an effect on a coin's price. Some speculate that the upcoming block reward reduction of BTC, known as the "Bitcoin Halvening", will push prices on that network up. ETC is a much smaller network, but its trajectory does provide one more data point for those trying to predict Bitcoin's future.
As for today, it's roughly a percent down, though it did fare a bit better than other cryptocurrencies. At the time of writing, most of the industry’s top 10 coins are in the red but in stable condition following news that the Senate has potentially reached a deal regarding an economic stimulus package. Bitcoin, for example, is still trading above $6,600, where it stood yesterday, while Ripple’s XRP remains at $0.16.
If the Senate approves the stimulus today, it will send it to the House for consideration before it hits President Trump’s desk for a signature.