Ethereum breaks new record price and looks set to go higher
ETH is showcasing gains of nearly 30% over the last month
- An increasing number of traditional banking institutions – a la Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – have continued to enter the crypto fray in recent weeks.
- The total market capitalisation of the cryptocurrency sector recently crossed the AUD$2.62 trillion mark.
- Experts suggest that Ethereum will remain the base transaction layer of the crypto sector for the foreseeable future.
Ethereum has been on a tear recently, with the altcoin rallying from AUD$2,315 on 31 March to an all-time high of AUD$2,800 within a span of just 72 hours, thereby signifying an overall gain of 17%. At press time, the currency is trading at AUD$2,790.
The ongoing rise comes in the wake of Visa announcing its decision to allow its customers to settle their transactions using crypto – more specifically the USDC stablecoin that has its value pegged to the US dollar in a 1:1 ratio. Additionally, even PayPal recently released a statement allowing its 300 million-strong userbase to start employing various digital currencies (such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum) across its global merchant network.
Providing his thoughts on the matter, Jason Lau, chief operating officer for cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, told Finder that while the Visa and PayPal announcements may not have a direct impact on the value of Ether and BTC, the moves do strongly signal the acceptance and mainstream adoption of crypto, adding:
"Their actions, along with other institutions, are telling consumers, investors, businesses and governments globally that Bitcoin and crypto is ready for prime time. Crypto has now gone mainstream."
On a more technical front, while Visa's and PayPal's announcements enable the transfer and payment of crypto, Lau believes that such a move may not necessarily translate into additional demand since many merchants will most likely choose to sell their crypto back into fiat.
Lastly, Lau pointed out that one can see that even Wall Street has continued its embrace of crypto, especially as an increasing number of clients have continually demanded access to this yet nascent asset class. In this vein, Goldman Sachs, typically considered to be one of the more conservative investment banks in the world, has confirmed that it'll be offering exposure to BTC and other digital assets to its clients soon. Similarly, Morgan Stanley has further expanded access to crypto for some of its managed funds.
Crypto market cap hits 2 trillion
Over the course of the past week, the total market capitalisation of the crypto sector crossed the $2 trillion mark – rising from 2.42 trillion to 2.64 trillion – thereby pointing to the fact that an increasing number of investors from various traditional spheres (such as stocks, bonds and commodities) seem to be making their way into this space.
Also, while a massive chunk of this monetary inflow can be attributed directly to Ethereum and Bitcoin, it is worth noting that a number of other coins have been on the receiving end of some positive monetary momentum. For example, Polkadot, Binance Coin, XRP, Litecoin and Chainlink are some of the other cryptos in the top 10 that have seen their values surge quite significantly in recent days.
Lastly, in the wake of Ether's rising prices, graphics card manufacturers like MSI and ASUS have warned miners that supplies of premium GPUs are currently quite low and that supply shortages are quite likely to continue all through 2021, especially as more and more individuals continue to set up private mining operations.
Ether's continued growth is inevitable at this point, experts suggest
Even with projects like Cardano and Polkadot continuing to draw an increasing amount of interest from the global crypto community, it still stands to reason that Ethereum has transformed into the core payment layer of the digital currency ecosystem.
Providing his views on whether any other project can dethrone Ether in the near future, Finder spoke with Antonio Vazquez, head of communications at Hermez Network, who opined that this is not the first time that he has seen a wave of so-called "Ethereum killers" popping up, adding:
"There are also tens of Ethereum projects working in parallel to scale the network. I have tried DeFi platforms on Solana, Binance Chain and Avalanche and must admit they can be cheaper and faster than current Ethereum. Ethereum remains the dominant blockchain, and we're yet to see what will happen to these 'Ethereum killers' if and when they keep increasing their transaction volumes."
He further added that most of the innovation currently happening within the crypto finance space is happening across the Ether network and thus it is more important to optimise the platform rather than constantly seek out alternatives. "Ethereum is king and will remain so for the foreseeable future," Vasquez opined.
Disclosure: The author owns a range of cryptocurrencies at the time of writing