Ether could enter the pattern's breakout stage in the days leading up to the highly-anticipated Merge.
The bullish cues come from a classic technical pattern called the inverse head and shoulders, which develops when the price forms three troughs below a common support level known as neckline. The middle trough, or head, is deeper than the other two, called the shoulders.
An inverse head and shoulders setup resolves after the price breaks above the neckline while accompanying an increase in trading volume. As a rule of technical analysis, its profit target comes at a length equal to the maximum distance between the head's lowest point and the neckline.
So far, Ether has painted a similar pattern, and it now awaits breakout above the neckline, as illustrated in the chart below.ETH/BTC weekly price chart featuring "inverse head and shoulders" breakout setup. Source: TradingView
If ETH's price climbs decisively above the neckline, then the Ethereum token's upside target in 2022 will be around 0.136 BTC, up approximately 60% from current price levels.
The breakout moment could come ahead of Ethereum's switch from proof-of-work (PoW) to proof-of-stake (PoS).
While the Merge is touted by proponents as a less energy-intensive alternative to PoW, the update could also reduce Ether's annual issuance by 4.2%.
Moreover, the demand for ETH as the means to receive any potential forked tokens following the Merge has seen the ETH/BTC pair rise by more than 55% since the Merge's release announcement on July 14.ETH/BTC daily price chart. Source: TradingView
Matt Hougan, chief investment officer at Bitwise Asset Management, believes Ether's switch to a less energy-intensive protocol could boost its appeal among institutional investors. In turn, it could ensure Ether overtakes Bitcoin by market capitalization.
"It's entirely possible that we'll see Ethereum flipping Bitcoin at some point in the future," Hougan told Forbes, adding:
“It is going after, in my view, a larger addressable market."
For now, Ethereum's $200 billion market cap trails Bitcoin's $369 billion.
On the flip side, Ether has been trading near a resistance area with a long history of exhausting price rallies against Bitcoin, notes analyst Riteable. In addition, the ETH/BTC's ongoing uptrend accompanies declining volumes and relative strength index (RSI) readings.ETH/BTC daily price chart. Source: TradingView
In other words, a bearish divergence that could mean ETH/BTC's price rally could be nearing exhaustion, resulting in a correction post-Merge.
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