The price of Ethereum has surged to over $3,000, a level not witnessed in more than 22 months. The last time Ether reached above $3,000 was on May 4, 2022, when it hit a high of $2,966 before entering an extended bear market that saw its price drop to $883 in June 2022. The recent uptrend in Ethereum's price is notable, with it climbing from $2,881 on Feb. 19, marking a 4% increase in the last 24 hours and a substantial 74% surge over the past 12 months. This surge resulted in a year-to-date high on Binance at 13:45 UTC.

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ETH/USD daily chart. Source: TradingView

This positive price movement coincides with market anticipation of the potential approval of a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the forthcoming implementation of the EIP-4844 through the Dencun upgrade. Current odds from Polymarket suggest a 45% likelihood of spot Ethereum approval by May 31.

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ETF approval by May live chart. Source: Polymarket

Wealth management firm Bernstein has indicated that Ether may be the only other cryptocurrency to secure an ETF spot in the United States. Analysts Gautam Chhugani and Mahika Sapra noted on Feb. 19 that Ethereum's staking yield dynamics, environmentally friendly design, and institutional utility position it well for mainstream institutional adoption.

Bloomberg's Eric Balchunas forecasts a 70% chance of ETF approval, signaling a positive outlook for Ethereum ETFs despite regulatory delays. The network's much-anticipated Dencun upgrade, scheduled for March 13, is expected to implement several Ethereum improvement proposals (EIPs), including EIP-4844, introducing proto-danksharding. This upgrade aims to streamline the transaction process by storing some data off the blockchain, accelerating transactions, and reducing costs.

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Ethereum futures open interest. Source: Coinglass

Coinglass data shows a significant increase in open interest (OI) in the Ethereum futures market, reaching a record $10.19 billion, underscoring the current volatility in Ethereum's price. Market participants are optimistic about continued bullish price action, especially in response to news regarding spot Ethereum ETF approval and potential developments in the broader cryptocurrency market.