• Ethereum is trading at the apex of a descending triangle whose breakout could catapult the price above $400.
  • The on-chain analysis highlights the largest resistance zone between $376 and $386.
  • Consolidation is likely to take precedence at the current price level, especially with the RSI leveling at the midline.

Ethereum traded within a whisker of $490 at the beginning of September. However, the trading in the last couple of weeks has mainly been lethargic, chiefly regarding recovery. Ether refreshed lows of $310 on September 5 before embarking on a recovery mission. On the upside, gains have hit highs above $390 on several occasions, but the resistance at $400 has not wavered, not even slightly. Support at $360 has also been confirmed in multiple instances. In the meantime, Ethereum is trading at $374 amid the pivotal price action at $380.

Ethereum 1-month chart

ETH/USD price chart

Will Ethereum 2.0 fix the existing scalability challenge?

Ethereum 2.0 release seems imminent by the end of the year, as recently discussed. Its launch is expected to be a significant boost for the smart contracts network as well as the value of Ether. On the contrary, some analysts argue that the impending protocol may not fix the high transaction fee problem.

The Ethereum network is congested now more than ever. The decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem continues to expand daily. High gas fees have, however, been constant on the network. The users in the DeFi ecosystem eagerly wait for the launch of Ethereum 2.0. They hope that the new network will bring down the exorbitant fees, ensuring sustainability. According to Alex Kruger, an economist and a trader, the growth in DeFi is likely to overshadow the impact of ETH 2.0 as far as scalability is concerned.

Ethereum breakout to $420 impends

Ethereum is trading within the confines of an ascending triangle. The price action comes after last week’s rejection from levels above $390. On the downside, support at $360 has been keen on keeping bears in check. Consolidation seems to be taking precedence, especially with the Relative Strength Index (RSI) holding at the midline.

ETH/USD daily chart

ETH/USD price chart

A triangle breakout aiming for highs above $450 awaits Ether. However, the 50 Simple Moving Average (SMA) must first be flipped into support. The move will allow bulls to shift their focus to $400 immediately. On breaking the stubborn resistance at $400, more buyers could be encouraged to join the market, thereby creating more volume for gains above $420 and $450.

Ethereum Litmus Test: On-chain analysis

Ethereum is facing the most challenging resistance between $376 and $386, according to the on-chain data provided by IntoTheBlock. The range is the largest supply zone, mainly because of the 1.35 million addresses that previously purchased 13.38 million ETH in the area. In the event buyers flip this zone into support, a breakout above $400 would be unstoppable with Ether aiming for $420.

Ethereum IOMAP chart

ETH IOMAP

It is also important to realize that Ethereum is not strongly supported. However, the most significant support lies between $363 and $374, an area where 694,330 addresses bought 2.6 million ETH. In case the support is shattered, ETH/USD could explore the rabbit hole to the next critical support zone between $318 and $330. Besides, the number of new addresses created on the Ethereum network keeps rising as observed from data provided by IntoTheBlock. An increase in the number of new addresses within a network suggests an upward trend is soon starting or resuming.

Ethereum new addresses chart

ETH new addresses chart

Subsequently, Ethereum whales seem to be increasing their holdings as per on-chain metrics by Santiment, a leading blockchain data analytic platform. Wallets holding between 100,000 and 1,000,000 coins increased from 157 million on September 11 to 160 on September 18. In other words, large volume holders within the Ethereum network believe that ETH is bound to recover to highs above $400 in the near term.

Ethereum holder distribution

ETH holder distribution

Looking at the other side of the fence

Ethereum seems to be poised for a breakout that could easily take down the resistance at $400 and start the journey towards $500 afresh. However, it is vital to note that if the resistance at $376 - $386 remains intact, sellers could regain control over the price because buyers will be quite exhausted. A reversal from the resistance level might extend past the support discussed between $363 and $364, hence completing the bearish case eying a freefall to the next critical support at $318 - $330.

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