Ether Bears Lose $11M as ETF Hopes Lift ETH Prices

Short trades on ether (ETH) bore the brunt of futures liquidations in the past 24 hours as major financial firms readied a formal plan to issue ether futures ETFs in the U.S.

Ether prices rose as much as 5% and trading volumes bumped nearly 25%, following reports of upcoming ether futures ETF listings. Ether traded at $1,660 in Asian afternoon hours on Friday, extending gains to more than 6% since Monday.

Prices were likely buoyed as hopes for a quick approval could mean demand for ether from traditional finance players, who have, so far, had limited options to trade the second-largest token by market capitalization.

Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas Ether futures ETFs are "highly likely (90% odds) to start rolling out in early Oct." Balchunas said in a later tweet that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wanted to "accelerate the launch" of these futures, citing sources.

The price bump caught bearish traders in the crosshair, however. Coinglass data shows some $11 million in liquidations for traders of ether futures on crypto exchanges who were short – or betting against – the asset. This accounted for nearly 85% of all ether liquidations on Thursday.

Liquidation refers to when an exchange forcefully closes a trader's leveraged position due to a partial or total loss of the trader's initial margin. This happens when a trader is unable to meet the margin requirements for a leveraged position or fails to have sufficient funds to keep the trade open.

OKX traders accounted for a third of liquidated positions, followed by Binance and Huobi, the data shows.

VanEck, the $77.8 billion asset under management firm, said Thursday it was preparing to roll out its ether futures ETF that will invest in standardized, cash-settled ETH futures contracts traded on commodity exchanges registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The fund is called VanEck Ethereum Strategy ETF (EFUT) and will be listed on CBOE.