Ethereum advocates are bubbling with anticipation over the upcoming London hard fork, which is scheduled to take place at block height 12,965,000 on Thursday.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView shows that the price of Ether (ETH) rallied from a low at $2,450 in the early hours on Wednesday to an intraday high at $2,772 for an 8.2% gain on the day.

ETH/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

One of the most common occurrences in the crypto market is a large price run-up ahead of a major news announcement or protocol upgrade, which is subsequently followed by a price dump, as those who got in early cash-out to lock in gains, and those who were late to the party become bag holders.

Ethereum’s London hard fork has been one of the most talked-about events of 2021, so it would be short-sighted to assume that the price is only going to go up — a point highlighted in the following tweet from Murfski, a pseudonymous analyst on Crypto Twitter.

As shown in the chart provided, the analyst cautioned against assuming Ether’s price would pump above $3,000. According to Murfski, if the price manages to hit $3,000, it could quickly be followed by a pullback to as low as $2,000 if the token sells off following the upgrade.

While nothing is certain, the historical trend of price dumps following major developments should not be dismissed despite the bullish price-performance seen from Ether.

Murfski said:

“In my defense, I was bullish at the bottom. As we approach the range highs you better be cautious. Good luck.”

Hard forks have historically been bullish for Ether’s price

Insight into what to expect from Ether’s price following the London hard fork can be gleaned from looking at how past upgrades affected the price. According to cryptocurrency analyst Josh Olszewicz, local highs in ETH come an average of 80 days following major upgrades.

These observations by Olszewicz were further confirmed by crypto economist Ben Lilly, whose detailed breakdown shows that the average returns after upgrades were “5.1% in the following 30 days, 28.8% after 60 days and 64.4% after 90 days.”

Due to this historical performance, Lilly is cautiously optimistic that there are still gains to be had in the future for Ether following the London upgrade.

Lilly said:

“While at first glance a lot of the gains we typically see with Ethereum upgrades might have already played out, I suspect there is still room. This is especially true when we lean on our internal signals, which are hinting at bullishness for ETH. London is definitely a great catalyst event to watch unfold in the coming days to weeks.”

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A correction could occur in the short term

According to Cointelegraph contributor Michaël van de Poppe, there is a possibility of a pullback once the hard fork is implemented.

While van de Poppe expects a short-term correction in Ether’s price, his long-term perspective for the altcoin is bullish, and he predicts that “the heaviest bull run of them all” will come after the pullback.