NEW DELHI :
The world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency, ether, topped the $3,000 level for the first time, taking its gains to over 300% for the year. The rally has taken ether’s market capitalization to over $350 billion, which is more than that of financial services majors Bank of America (BofA), and Paypal.
Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In one of the major developments, European Investment Bank had recently announced its first-ever digital bond on the ethereum blockchain.
At 1.20pm IST, the digital currency was trading over 11% higher at around $3,200 after moving in a wide range of $2,868.89-3,200.04 over the past 24 hours, as per Coingecko.
“Ethereum has recently rolled out or announced a bunch of upgrades such as sharing, staking, burning, and measures to lower transaction costs, also known as gas fees. Not all investors understand these technical terms fully, but these developments are boosting confidence that Ethereum is a powerful technology that is only getting more powerful,” said Vikram Rangala, chief operating officer of ZebPay, a cryptocurrency exchange.
During this year, ether has taken a commanding lead over the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, which has logged over 100% rise on a year-to-date basis.
Ether has rallied in the recent past because of the launch of ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF) on a Canadian exchange.
While bitcoin’s most well-known use case is as a store of value, ethereum has several use cases. It’s a software platform for things like non-fungible tokens and financial services, among others.
“NFTs, DeFi (decentralized finance), and other applications are also in the mainstream news and even pop culture. Just as more people are learning that bitcoin is not just a speculation bubble but a fundamental technology breakthrough, they’re learning the same about ethereum. In the short term, we may well see a lot more price fluctuation, but long-term, there is serious underlying value” Rangala added.
Meanwhile, bitcoin was trading 4.5% higher at $58,899, and was still 10% away from its lifetime high of $64,804.72, which was hit on 14 April.