Don’t Forget the Little Guy – The Rise of Ether

Every man and their dog have heard of bitcoin and its meteoric rise to cryptocurrency supremacy, but what about the other 6,000+ crypto options? You heard that right – Many people may actually be surprised to learn that there are thousands of cryptocurrencies, commonly referred to as altcoins, and many of them are far more useful than you’d imagine.

Ethereum has seen immense growth this year already with crossing a total market cap of $178 million this week and growth of over 100% since the start of 2021. Increase in cryptocurrency is growing and the more than $1 trillion worth of Ether (ETH) transactions in 2020 is proof of the cryptos intensifying volume growth.

What is Ether?

Ether is currently the second largest cryptocurrency based on market cap, and is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. Now it’s important to know that Ethereum offers a lot more than a cryptocurrency. Ethereum offers smart contracts and decentralised applications that can be built with Ethereum’s very own programming language.

Ether doubles as a digital currency, to be traded much the same as bitcoin, and as the fuel of network applications on the Ethereum platform. The Ethereum blockchain is significantly faster at recording transactions compared to bitcoin and therefore Ethereum has far more applications than any other blockchain platform.

You’ll find that Ether is a relatively stable cryptocurrency too, with far less rapid growth, unlike bitcoin which has experienced periods of expansive growth. The price of Ether acts far more like an actual currency. The potential of Ethereum cannot be denied. With application development, business features, and there are already 100s of Ethereum apps available for free.

Why Now?

Those benefiting from the sudden uptrend in altcoins can thank the monumental momentum of Bitcoin. Bitcoin appears to have long coattails, and as bitcoin rose, so did several altcoins. That doesn’t mean the recent success of Ether should solely be attributed to bitcoin. As bitcoin has dropped and appears to be stabilising, Ethereum has continued to rise – increasing almost 20% last week.

The Ethereum spike can also be attributed to the reopening of Grayscale Investments Ethereum Trust to accredited investors this week. The Grayscale Ethereum Trust contains over $4 Billion in assets and is, in fact, thought to be partially responsible for the recent bitcoin rally by purchasing significant bitcoin to meet the institutional investor demand. Simon Peters, an eToro analyst, expects “institutions to continue adding to their positions and push the price of ether even further”.

Looking to the Future

Bitcoin may still be the leading cryptocurrency but Ethereum is the firm leader of the young decentralised finance industry (Defi). DeFi projects continue to grow, attracting new investments and total value growth of over 3000% since the beginning of 2020. 2021 will see further upgrades to Ethereum 2.0 that will greatly improve performance and functionality.

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