Ethereum Meme Coins PEPE, MOG Hit Lifetime Highs on Ether ETF Filing Approvals

  • Two Ethereum ecosystem tokens, PEPE and MOG, climbed to new highs on the back of U.S. ether ETF filings approvals, with traders treating them as beta bets.
  • Open interest in futures for the tokens increased, suggesting new money entering the market, though the long-to-short ratio for PEPE indicates traders are betting against further price rises.

Two Ethereum ecosystem tokens surged to record highs on Monday, fueled by last week's approval of key ether {{ETH}} exchange-traded fund (ETF) filings in the U.S. that persuaded some traders to consider meme tokens as beta bets.

Frog-themed pepe {{PEPE}} and cat-themed mog (MOG) jumped 11% and 45%, respectively, in the past 24 hours as a beta bet narrative showed no signs of slowing. A beta bet is a way of gaining exposure to a main asset by investing in related networks or protocols. Trading volumes for PEPE across spot and futures hit over $1.8 billion, compared with a more usual range of $400 million-$600 million.

The gains came as ether rose nearly 5% over the same period, leading the advance among major tokens as bitcoin {{BTC}} shed 1%. The broad-based CoinDesk 20 {{CD20}}, an index of the biggest tokens, minus stablecoins, lost 0.3%.

MOG jumped 45% in the past 24 hours. (DEXTools)

Futures data shows open interest on pepe and mog-tracked instruments spiked up in the past 24 hours. PEPE open interest rose to $720 million from last week’s $550 million, while for MOG the figure rose to $8.3 million from $5 million. Rising open interest is considered a sign of new money entering the market, which may foreshadow further price volatility.

However, a long-to-short ratio for PEPE is skewed in favor of bears at 54%, data from Coinalyze shows, showing traders are going short, or betting against, further price rises.

As CoinDesk reported last week, traders have been considering PEPE and MOG as a levered way to gain exposure to ether. A rally in the two tokens started when analysts raised the odds of ether ETFs being approved for trading in the U.S.

PEPE even zoomed into the 20 largest tokens by a market capitalization of over $6 billion, netting some early investors millions of dollars on an initial purchase of just $460.

Since 2023, meme tokens – usually considered to have no intrinsic value, but which nevertheless enjoy tremendous followings – have recently risen in prominence as a beta bet on whichever ecosystem they are based on.

Several Solana-based meme coin tokens surged from December to March as the network’s SOL tokens took off – contributing to ecosystem growth and garnering attention. Also in December, the Avalanche Foundation, a non-profit organization that maintains the Avalanche blockchain, said it would invest in meme tokens built on the network in recognition of the online culture and memetic value that such tokens can drive among investors.