The coin is currently sitting at an all time high of US$876 per ETH after it some slight dips over the Christmas period alongside Bitcoin, Litecoin and other popular currencies.
Ethereum lost its spot as the second most valuable cryptocurrency late last week after Ripple had a massive surge on the back of new partnerships in Asia. Ripple has since stayed fairly steady, but could see another big spike this month after leaks suggested that it could soon be released on the popular Coinbase broker and exchange.
What's causing ETH to go up?
Ethereum, while many believe is the future of the internet, in its current form still has problems handling capacity, relies on miners for proof of work and is quickly becoming more expensive for transactions.
In December, the increasingly popular Ethereum based game CryptoKitties brought in so much traffic that it completely overwhelmed the Ethereum network for 24 hours.
There are several improvements on the roadmap to eventually bring Ethereum to the point where it can handle as many transactions per second as the Visa network, decentralised and at a cheaper price.
The first of these is known as the Casper update, and its initial test network was just released, which is why Ethereum's price has been going through the roof.
Updated: 19 Feb 2018 08:09:42 UTC
Casper, once it's integrated will turn Ethereum from a Proof of Work platform into a Proof of Stake, which will make everything much faster and cheaper as it continues to grow.
The particular testnet that was just released by Ethereum developer Karl Floersch is one of two parts of the Casper update to Ethereum. Floersch's part is known as Casper FFG (Friendly Finality Gadget), and is responsible for the Ethereum network's transition between Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. This will be the first part of the Casper update.
The second part is known as the Casper CbC (Correct by Construction), and will be responsible for managing Ethereum's consenus after Casper FFG has been implemented.
These updates are expected to help Ethereum fight off competition from rising networks such as Cardano, which are looking to be decentralised networks like Ethereum for businesses to build on and transact over.
This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
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