Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts will no doubt be familiar with the Gemini exchange. The platform is owned by the Winklevoss twins and has attracted a lot of attention from institutional investors over the past few months. The exchange is especially known for its daily Bitcoin auctions. Last night, the company also started providing Ethereum auctions. As it happened, the first one performed abysmally.
First ETH/USD Auction on Gemini is Disappointing
These are very troubled times for Ethereum as a whole. The popular cryptocurrency has lost a fair bit of value over the past few weeks and it appears its downtrend will not be ending anytime soon. Falling from an all-time high of US$400 all the way to around US$185 in a few weeks is not a positive sign for Ethereum. However, Ethereum has been overpriced for quite some time now, especially when considering it was worth just above US$10 as recently as January of this year.
Despite those declines, the Gemini exchange has decided to experiment with ETH/USD auctions. Their auctions allow institutional investors to purchase large amounts of cryptocurrency with U.S. dollars. Its Bitcoin variant has been doing quite well recently, but it too had a mixed performance at the beginning. An average of US$1 million worth of Bitcoin or more being auctioned off every day is not all that uncommon now. There is a growing market for buying large amounts of Bitcoin without placing multiple buy orders on an exchange.
Whether or not the Ethereum auctions will be as successful remains to be seen. The first auction took place last night and attracted very little interest. Only 90 Ethers were sold during the auction, which is less than spectacular. One could even argue it is not worth conducting such an auction in the first place. The first Bitcoin auction, in comparison, raised over US$1 million. However, those auctions were known to draw less attention at certain times as well.
Considering how there will be only one Ethereum auction every day, volume will need to pick up pretty quickly. Gemini currently holds two Bitcoin auctions every single day, raising millions of U.S. dollars daily. If the first Ethereum auction only brought in $17, 400 it clearly shows there is far less interest in Ether compared to Bitcoin. This is not entirely surprising since Ethereum has been declining in value rapidly, both in U.S. dollar and Bitcoin value.
Reddit users are convinced this daily ETH/USD auction volume will not pick up anytime soon. It may be premature to make such bold claims, especially considering this was only the first auction of its kind. One user even claimed that “Ethereum is shit, so no one should be surprised.” That is a very strong sentiment, although there is very little reason for institutional investors to buy Ether other than from a purely speculative perspective. With prices falling, there is no reason to buy Ethereum right now until the markets stabilize.
It will be interesting to see how the daily Gemini Ethereum auctions evolve in terms of value and interest. With the weekend upon us, there will not necessarily be any significant changes over the next few days. We will revisit this topic in a few weeks to make a proper comparison, unless a massive auction were to happen in the meantime. So far, it seems this gamble by Gemini will not be paying off anytime soon, but that does not mean it will always be that way.