Cryptocurrencies built on their post-Shanghai/Shapella gains Friday as investors breathed a sigh of relief that Ethereum's latest tech upgrade was completed successfully and without some of the potentially negative aftereffects they initially feared.
Ether closed higher by about 3% at $2,084.91, bringing its two-day gain to 10%, according to Coin Metrics, and its weekly gain to 12.32%. Earlier, it rose as high as $2,130.30, its highest level since May. Coin Metrics measures a week in crypto, which trades 24 hours a day, from the stock market close one Friday to the next.
Meanwhile, bitcoin was flat Friday but sustained the $30,000 level it first hit on Monday for the first time since June. It closed at $30,318.38 Friday and posted an 8.61% gain for the week, making it its best week since June 8.
Ether's big move higher began early Thursday morning after the Ethereum network completed its long-awaited "Shanghai" upgrade, also known as "Shapella" in some crypto circles.
This latest development was intended to bring more liquidity to the network by allowing investors to withdraw their staked assets, and sets a foundation for subsequent upgrades in the future. Many were initially concerned about potential sell pressure that might hit the market after Shanghai, because it would make locked ETH available for investors to withdraw. It followed September's big "Merge" event, which targeted energy efficiency.
"This upgrade has further solidified confidence in the Ethereum network to successfully ship important upgrades," said Marc Arjoon, research associate at CoinShares.
"There was also a narrative around ETH withdrawals being immediately sold causing downward price pressure," he added. "So far, the queue to withdraw isn't even at capacity so this narrative isn't playing out as many expected."
Ether and bitcoin are up 74% and 83% this year, respectively.