In March 2024, the price of ETH reached $4000. What other important things happened in the world of Ethereum.

This report investigates and analyses Ethereum price and ecosystem developments, as well as significant events that occurred in March 2024.

Major takeaways:

  • Ethereum has surpassed $4,000 for the first time since 2021.
  • Ethereum completed Dencun, its most significant network upgrade since the Merge. Total Ethereum fees fell from $38.7 million to $9.4 million in March. Transaction fees on Ethereum Layer 2s have also dropped dramatically (up to 99%).
  • Ethereum generated $1.2 billion in transaction fee revenue in the first quarter of 2024, up 155% from the same quarter last year.
  • BlackRock launched a new Ethereum-based money market fund that quickly raised $200 million.
  • MakerDAO’s “Endgame” transformation seeks to increase the DeFi stablecoin market capitalization from $4.5 billion to more than $100 billion, positioning it as a competitor to Tether.
  • Ethereum’s NFT market experienced a slight drop in March, but it remained the most traded blockchain network in the NFT ecosystem, with a turnover of $489.5 million.

What You will Discover in This March Ethereum Analysis

 

    1. What is Ethereum?
    2. Ethereum Price Performance and On-chain Data Analysis
    3. When will the ETH ETF be approved?
    4. Ethereum Ecosystem Updates
    5. Ethereum-Based Protocols and DEXs
    6. Ethereum NFTs and Gaming Updates
    7. Looking Ahead: Can Ethereum Prices Rise Further?

What exactly is Ethereum?

In 2013, Vitalik Buterin started Ethereum. It is a platform that uses blockchain technology to run smart contracts and decentralized applications. The network lets people make new things with smart contracts. This helps new assets and industries like DeFi, NFTs, DAOs, Web3, and more to grow. The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is the part of Ethereum that runs and processes smart contracts. Also, Ethereum uses a proof-of-stake (PoS) system to make it more scalable and sustainable.

Analysis of Ethereum On-Chain Data and Its Price Performance

On March 11, the Ethereum price hit $4,000 for the first time since 2021. However, after rallying to $4,094 leading up to the Dencun upgrade, ETH underperformed compared to Bitcoin (BTC) and the broader crypto market over the past month. On March 20, the Ethereum price fell to its monthly low of $3,367 before closing at $3,636.

ETH/USD daily chart.
Daily chart for ETH/USD. Source: TradingView.

The potential approval of a spot Ether exchange-traded fund (ETF) remains an important catalyst for ETH to rise above the $4,000 mark. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently reviewing the situation, with a final decision expected by May 23.

Furthermore, recent Ethereum protocol updates should not be ignored. The Dencun hard fork, which occurred on March 13, was intended to increase network scalability and improve Layer 2 (L2) data processing capabilities, and it has sparked significant interest among rollup solutions. As a result, transaction fees for most applications on Ethereum L2s like Arbitrum, Optimism, Startnet, and Zora Network have been significantly reduced.

There were also fee reductions on Ethereum. Total Ethereum fees fell from $38.7 million on March 5 to $9.4 million on March 31.

Ethereum, Startnet, Zora Network, Arbitrum and Optimism fees in March 2024
Ethereum, Startnet, Zora Network, Arbitrum and Optimism fees in March 2024. Source: Artemis

Total revenues on Ethereum decreased by 48% in the 10 days following EIP-4844 was implemented. The proposal introduces a novel transaction type capable of accepting data blobs.

 

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With a total value locked (TVL) of between $47.2 billion and $57.9 billion (peaking on March 13), Ethereum had the largest market share of any blockchain last month.

Ethereum TVL in March 2024
Ethereum TVL in March 2024. Source: DefilLlama

However, there has been some volatility in Ethereum network activity over the past month. The number of daily active addresses across the Ethereum ecosystem increased from 413k on March 1 to 534k on March 20, and then dropped to 467k on March 31.

Number of active addresses on Ethereum
Number of active addresses on Ethereum. Source: Artemis

Ethereum’s daily transaction volume fluctuated throughout the month, rising from 1.2 million on March 1 to 1.4 million on March 19, before falling back to 1.2 million at the end of the month.

Ethereum’s daily transactions volume in March
Ethereum’s daily transactions volume in March. Source: Artemis

When can the ETH ETF be approved?

The potential approval of a spot Ether ETF is one of the most anticipated events that could have a significant impact on the short- to medium-term Ethereum price. Compared to previous approvals of Bitcoin ETFs, the approval of an ETH ETF is less certain, as the SEC is expected to conduct increased regulatory oversight.

In March, the SEC postponed its decision on VanEck’s ETF application until May 23, and similarly delayed decisions on the Hashdex and ARK 21Shares Spot ETH ETFs until late May.

Recent filings with the SEC by big asset management firms, including Fidelity (on March 27) and Bitwise (on March 28) to create spot ETH ETFs underscore the growing interest in Ether-based financial products. Fidelity’s filing, in particular, indicates that it intends to put some of the ETH it owns to work, demonstrating confidence in Ether’s long-term prospects.

Fidelity's spot ETH EFT S-1 application
Fidelity’s spot ETH EFT S-1 application. Source: SEC

Additionally, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) announced it would accept applications for Ether and Bitcoin crypto exchange-traded notes (ETNs) in the second quarter of 2024, further underscoring the growing mainstream acceptance and integration of cryptocurrencies into traditional financial systems.

However, despite the widespread interest in ETH ETFs, this back-and-forth between industry players and regulators highlights the complexities and nuances of integrating ETH-based financial instruments into traditional financial systems. Unsurprisingly, the Grayscale Ethereum Trust discount has fallen to its lowest level since November 2023, as hopes for a spot ETF in May fade.

Ethereum Ecosystem Updates.

According to data from Coin98 Analytics, the Ethereum ecosystem experienced significant growth in the first quarter of 2024. Ethereum’s earnings tripled quarter after quarter in Q1 2024, reaching $369 million. The amount increased by 210% year on year from $119 million in the first quarter of 2023.

Quarterly fees and revenues for Ethereum increased 79% and 85%, respectively, in Q1 2024. According to the data, Ethereum generated $1.2 billion in transaction fee revenue in Q1 2024, which is 155% higher than the same quarter last year. Total Ethereum revenue reached $1 billion in the first quarter of 2024, up 186% from $385 million the previous year.

In March 2024, the Ethereum ecosystem witnessed several significant updates and developments that promise to shape its future trajectory.

BlackRock Launches BUIDL

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, announced an initiative to launch a tokenized asset fund on Ethereum, solidifying the network’s importance. The BlackRock USD Institutional Digital Liquidity Fund (BUIDL) will be fully collateralized with cash, US Treasury bills, and repurchase agreements, allowing qualified investors to earn US dollar income. In a strong symbolic gesture, BlackRock deposited $100 million in USDC on the Ethereum network.

Google enables cryptocurrency wallet searches.

Google expanded its Ethereum search features to include human-readable Ethereum Name Service (ENS) domains, allowing users to view wallet balances associated with ENS names directly in search results. This integration closes the gap between traditional search functionality and blockchain data, making it easier and more accessible for users.

Nansen now supports SportFi

Nansen, a blockchain analytics platform, integrated blockchain data from SportFi chain Chiliz and Ethereum rollup zkSync on March 28. This integration gives cryptocurrency teams a comprehensive overview of both ecosystems, allowing them to run queries and gain insights from raw data, improving their decision-making abilities.

Pectra Upgrade to Increase Ethereum Validator Stakes

Additionally, Ethereum’s Pectra upgrade is set to raise the maximum validator stake to 2,048 ETH, a significant increase from the current 32 ETH. This move, which is expected to take effect by the end of the year, aims to improve the Ethereum network’s security and decentralization.

Coinbase Addresses Centralisation on Ethereum

Furthermore, on March 26, Ethereum client diversity improved when Geth, a major Ethereum execution client, saw its market share drop from 84% to 63%. Coinbase’s decision to switch around half of its validators to Nethermind contributed to this diversification, addressing long-standing concerns about centralization risks within the Ethereum network.

Share of execution clients on Ethereum.
Share of execution clients on Ethereum. Source: Clientdiversity.com

Developers launch the “Pump The Gas” initiative.

Lastly, on March 21, Ethereum developers launched the “Pump The Gas” initiative to increase the blockchain network’s gas limit from 30 million to 40 million. This initiative seeks to reduce transaction fees at layer 1, potentially improving Ethereum’s scalability and usability.

Ethereum-Based Protocols and Digital Asset Exchanges

As previously reported, Ethereum Layer 2 protocols saw a significant drop in transaction fees in March following the Dencun upgrade. This resulted in more translation on some L2 networks.

Base has reached a new daily user high.

For instance, Coinbase’s program called Base had more transactions in one day. The number of transactions went up a lot. Before the upgrade, there were 440,000 users. After the upgrade, there are now over 2 million users. This is a huge increase of 3,200% in new users on Base, with 666,866 new users joining on March 16.

Daily transactions on Base in March 2024.
Daily transactions on Base in March 2024. Source: Artemis

Starknet Introduces Fee-Saving Measures

On March 12, Starknet, a technology that helps make blockchain transactions faster and cheaper, announced ways to save even more money when using it. This goes along with the Dencun upgrade. This change to Ethereum will make it cheaper to store data by using “blob space” instead of the usual way.

The protocol is changing to make transactions faster and cheaper, following the Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP-4844). This will lower fees right away. Furthermore, the Foundation is getting ready to launch version 0. 131, which will change from the expensive call data method to the cheaper blobs transaction type, with the aim of lowering fees by a lot. This change will make a big difference in how much Starknet has to pay for gas. Almost all of their fees come from call data. Furthermore, a new system will be used to increase the protocol’s ability to handle transactions.

Uniswap Still Leads the DEX Space

In March, Uniswap still led as the top DEX on the Ethereum blockchain. Uniswap’s UNI token went up by 46% to over $16 on March 6, reaching its highest point since January 2022. This increase was followed by a 54% rise in the amount of trading ($36. 5 billion in February compared to the previous month). In March, they made $79. 5

This comes after a proposal made by the Uniswap Foundation to improve how fees are distributed by the protocol. The goal is to get more people from the community involved. Specifically, the update will concentrate on giving the protocol fee to people who hold the UNI token.

UNI/USD price index.
UNI/USD price index. Source: CoinGecko

MakerDAO Introduced “Endgame.”

MakerDAO wants to make a big change to grow the DeFi stablecoin market from $4. 5 billion to over $100 billion. This will make it a strong competitor to Tether (USTD).

 

Ethena-topped earnings charts

Ethena, a type of digital money made using Ethereum, made over $6. 8 million in one day in March, making it the DApp that earned the most money. Only Tron and Ethereum made more money than Ethena. Tron made $38. 6 million and Ethereum made $182. 5 million in a week.

 

Eclipse Secured Series A Funding

Layer 2 developer Eclipse Labs got $50 million in funding from Placeholder and Hack VC. This money is meant to make Ethereum work better using the Solana Virtual Machine. Eclipse Labs wants to combine the power of SVM with the flexibility of the Ethereum system to create a better Layer 2 solution. Eclipse Labs is teaming up with Rarible, Pyth Network, and Solend to launch their main network in the second quarter. They promise to build a network that can grow and work well with other systems.

Optimism Foundation Sold 19.5 Million OP Tokens

The organization that created the Ethereum layer-2 blockchain Optimism, called the Optimism Foundation, sold about 19. 5 million of its governance tokens in a private sale on March 8th. Each Optimism (OP) token is worth about $4. 62 and the total value of all the tokens sold is about $90 million at the current market price. The foundation says that people who buy tokens have to wait two years before they can trade them.

Morph Raised $20 Million in Seed Funding

Morph, a company that works on a part of Ethereum’s technology, got $20 million from investors. Dragonfly led the $19 million investment round, with contributions from other investors like Pantera Capital, Foresight Ventures, the Spartan Group, Symbolic Capital, and more. Also, the initial funding of $1 million included support from important people like Sandeep Nailwal from Polygon and Alex Svanevik from Nansen.

Polygon had problems with their website being down.

On March 24, Polygon, which helps Ethereum work faster, had trouble with its zero-knowledge Ethereum system. This was because of a problem with the way it puts transactions in order. Polygon has talked to its two million followers, saying that the problem only affects zkEVM and doesn’t affect any other chains made with the Polygon chain development kit (CDK).

Ethereum NFTs and Gaming Updates

The NFT market and sales went down a bit in March, but Ethereum is still the top choice for trading NFTs.

In March, the sales of digital items called NFTs on Ethereum dropped by 11% to $489. 5 million from February’s $553. 4 In March, about 98,000 people bought NFTs on the Ethereum network, while around 84,000 people sold them. In March, there were over 648,000 NFT transactions on Ethereum, which is 22% less than the month before.

Sales volume for Ethereum-based NFTs reached 489.,5 million in March.
Sales volume for Ethereum-based NFTs reached $489.5 million in March. Source: CryptoSlam

Even though the price of Ethereum went up a lot, the prices of popular NFTs went down a lot in March. The minimum prices for some popular NFT collections on the Blur marketplace dropped in value when calculated in ETH. Yuga Labs’ Bored Ape and Mutant Ape Yacht Club had decreases in value of 44% and 35%. Also, DeGods collections lost more than 55% of their value.

But even when things were not going well, CryptoPunks collection on the Ethereum blockchain was still selling for a lot of money and making big news. In March, a unique artwork of an Alien-like Punk was sold for about $16 million in a digital currency called ETH, which was a big achievement for the popular collection. Only nine special Alien CryptoPunks have been made. This makes them very rare and valuable.

The gaming industry remains a main area of interest for projects using Layer 2 technology on the Ethereum blockchain. Layer 2 networks Starknet and Arbitrum focused on supporting the growth of gaming development. The Starknet Foundation gave $125. 5 million in tokens to support gaming projects. Arbitrum started the Gaming Catalyst Program to help Web3 gaming grow, showing that Ethereum is focusing more on blockchain-based gaming.

Notable Ethereum NFT launches in March:

  • The Legacy Cowls (March 29–AApril 5). This NFT collection was created by DC Comics, Warner Brothers Discovery Group, and Candy Digital to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the superhero Batman. This collection revolves around Batman-themed NFTs and is based on the inaugural DC comic series on the blockchain, titled The Legacy Cowl, which originated in 2022. The collection consists of a remarkable 11,544 digital collectibles, each representing a piece of Batman’s legacy.
  • African Beauty (March 8–MMarch 15): The African Beauty features 10,000 NFTs and aims to celebrate the diversity and beauty of Africa while empowering African women. By purchasing an African Beauty NFT, collectors were able to help empower and educate women and girls across Africa.
  • Lumi Punks (March 17–MMarch 24): Lumi Punks features 900 NFT fashion items tailored for the metaverse, a virtual reality space for interaction, creation, and exploration. These items can be explored, bought, sold, and traded, and they are compatible with various games and VR platforms.
  • RoboMetaMorphs (February 29–MMarch 7): This collection is part of Kraut 9, an AI-powered NFT launchpad and Web3 marketing agency, and showcases skillful artwork depicting a robotic civilization emerging from the remains of Earth. Designed by German artist Hagen Pietsch in collaboration with Midjourney, an AI art generator, and enhanced with Photoshop, the collection features 8,888 NFTs.

Looking ahead, can the Ethereum price go even higher?

In short, even though ETH went up to $4,000 in March for the first time since 2021, it hasn’t done as well as BTC and the overall crypto market in the past month.

The Ethereum system had many changes and improvements. Big finance companies like Fidelity and Bitwise are making Ether ETFs, showing that more people are interested in investing in Ether. Furthermore, the London Stock Exchange will start allowing people to invest in Ether and Bitcoin ETNs in the second quarter of 2024. This shows that cryptocurrencies are becoming more widely accepted by the general public.

Also, the Ethereum protocol was recently updated with the Dencun hard fork to make it better at handling a lot of transactions and to lower the fees for using L2 solutions like Arbitrum, Optimism, Starknet, and Zora Network. This also caused a big drop in fees on Ethereum in March, from $38. 7 million to $9. 4 million by the end of the month.

In the DeFi industry, MakerDAO wants to make big changes to increase the value of the DeFi stablecoin market from $4. 5 billion to over $100 billion, making it a strong competitor to Tether.

Moreover, Ethereum’s NFT market had a small decrease in March, but it was still the most popular blockchain network for trading NFTs, with a total turnover of $489. 5 Even though the prices for popular NFTs went down, the CryptoPunks NFT collection on Ethereum kept making news because it had really high sales. This shows that people still really like digital collectibles.

In the future, Ethereum will be focused on growing its capacity, new rules about ETH ETFs, and making new things in the DeFi and NFT areas. This will probably influence how much it is used.

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