Ethereum’s native token Ether (ETH) has been forming an inverse-cup-and-handle pattern since May 2021 on the weekly chart, which hints at a potential decline against Bitcoin (BTC).
An inverse cup-and-handle is a bearish reversal pattern, accompanied by lower trading volume. It typically resolves after the price breaks below its support level, followed by a fall toward the level at a length equal to the maximum height between the cup’s peak and the support line.
Applying the theoretical definition on ETH/BTC’s weekly chart presents 0.03 BTC as its next downside target, down around 55% from Sept. 16’s price.
Can ETH/BTC pull a Dow Jones?
Alternatively, the ETH/BTC pair could nevertheless deliver some large gains in the years to come.
On the weekly log chart, the ETH/BTC pair is painting a potential cup-and-handle since January 2018. In other words, a rally toward 0.5 BTC in 2023 is on the table, up more than 520% from current price levels.
Unlike its inverse counterpart mentioned above, cup-and-handles are bullish reversal patterns with their upside targets located at levels equal to their maximum height when measured from their breakout point.
Veteran analyst Tom Bulkowski notes that these patterns have a 61% success rate of meeting their upside targets.
For instance, the cup-and-handle pattern that formed on the Dow Jones chart during the Great Depression of the 1930s and 1940s — wherein the cup took nine years to develop and the handle another four years — reached its upside target in the 1950s, as shown below.
Potentially, ETH/BTC could now be in the handle stage of a similar cup-and-handle pattern, as shown via the shaded purple descending channel area in the chart below.
The pair awaits a breakout move above the pattern’s resistance level of 0.08 BTC. For now, it has been fluctuating lower inside the handle range, eyeing a pullback toward its lower trendline at around 0.05 BTC after testing the upper one as resistance this week.
Flippening or floppening?
Ethereum’s potential to overtake Bitcoin by market capitalization has been commonly dubbed as “the flippening.”
Ethereum is competing with Bitcoin to become the so-called “inflation hedge,” according to Joshua Lim, head of derivatives at Genesis Trading. Lim cited Ethereum’s EIP-1559 update from August 2021 that introduced a fee-burning mechanism into its protocol.
According to Ultrasound.Money, Ether’s supply growth now stands at minus 1.43% per year. In other words, the token could be becoming “disinflationary” with time. Lim argues that it makes Ether an attractive alternative to Bitcoin among institutional investors.
12/ can BTC remain king going fwd? only time will tell if the ETH narrative post-Merge is strong enough to overthrow the status quo
in the meantime, expect BTC to continue to trade like a funding asset and preferred hedging instrument for the entire asset class
— Joshua Lim (@joshua_j_lim) August 29, 2022
But many argue against the flippening narrative, including Rahul Singh, the co-founder of Defi platform FINtokens. He told Bitcoin would continue existing as a “digital gold” while Ethereum would become an “Internet 2.0” project.
There’s a lot of difference between Digital Asset Values, &
Digital Soft. Values
— AskToRahulSingh©️ (@AskToRahulSingh) July 13, 2022
As of September 2022, Ether’s market cap is $175 billion compared to Bitcoin’s $372 billion.