(Reuters) – Cryptocurrency ether leapt more than 5% in early Asia trade on Friday as traders breathed a sigh of relief that a software upgrade this week ran relatively smoothly.
The second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, ether rose to as high as $2,130.80, the most since May 2022.
The upgrade, known as “Shapella,” took effect on Wednesday.
It had stoked fears of a selloff because it enabled investors to redeem tokens deposited on the blockchain in return for interest. Withdrawal delays were evident on Thursday, but the apparent lack of wholesale selling encouraged buyers.
“A lot of people were on the sidelines during the upgrade, and now that it has gone off without a hitch, everyone is jumping in,” said Matthew Dibb, chief investment officer at crypto asset manager Astronaut Capital.
The price moved up sharply shortly after 0030 GMT, and helped pull larger cryptocurrency bitcoin almost 2% higher to a 10-month high of $30,923.
“Liquidity has been quite low so this would contribute to the sharpness of the move,” said Dibb.
“With the upgrade, there was previously an expectation that there would be huge sell orders coming through. This didn’t happen at all so every bid is moving the market.”