The ethereum classic price has nearly doubled this week ahead of the implementation of the first phase of a new monetary policy into the Ethereum Classic protocol.
A week ago, the ethereum classic price was trading at $18, and it hovered at that mark until the weekend, when — like many cryptocurrencies — it received a post-holiday bump. ETC entered the new week at $22, and it remained there until Monday afternoon.
At approximately 12:05 UTC, the ethereum classic price began to scale the charts at a breakneck pace, and by Tuesday it had reached $26 — a new all-time high. At this point, trading volume exploded, and ETC went berserk, adding another $8 to bring it to a present value of $34. This represents a weekly increase of approximately 90% and gives ETC a greater than $3.3 billion market cap, placing it ninth in the rankings.
As is so often the case, the rally was led by South Korean traders. ETC/KRW accounts for more than 60 percent of ethereum classic’s 24-hour trading volume, with the bulk of that concentrated on Bithumb. This trading pair is priced at a 10 percent premium over ETC/USD and ETC/BTC, which are trading below $32 on Bitfinex and OKEx, respectively.
The justification of the rally appears to be the impending implementation of ECIP 1017, a protocol upgrade that permanently alters ethereum classic’s monetary supply. The hard fork — which was activated a month ago — reduces the ETC block reward over time until the currency supply reaches a hard cap of approximately 210 million to 230 million tokens. The first 20 percent reduction will occur at blockheight 5000000, which should be mined in about two weeks.
However, this protocol upgrade has been planned since early in the year, so it is difficult to conceive that it would have such a profound effect on ethereum classic at this particular moment. Consequently, given the rate of the climb, the lack of an apparent trigger, and the heavy concentration of trading volume on Korean exchanges, it would not be surprising if at least part of this rally is the result of a coordinated pump.