Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency behind bitcoin, hit a new record all-time high of $2,150 this week.
Ethereum is a blockchain technology that hosts the Ether coin, and reached its new record value this week thanks to Visa’s move to permit crypto transactions through its platform. The surge in value has been phenomenal, and has happened thanks to Ethereum’s increasing uptake and popularity among retailers and investors.
If we rewind the clock back to this time last year, when the majority of the world was in the midst of the first Covid-19 lockdown, Ethereum’s value was just $150. It has since skyrocketed in value, reaching a new record high on a monthly, and sometimes weekly basis. It last broke its own previous record in February, before it saw a sharp drop in value that was attributed to the markets taking a cautious turn.
It has managed to rally once more, and this week reached its new record high value of $2,150. Though not the sole reason, the $68million sale of an artwork piece as an NFT by the artist known as Beeple is partly thought to have caused the spike. Additionally, Visa’s decision to accept the use of crypto payments on its platform has also been attributed to the uptick.
On Monday of this week (April 5) Visa announced that it would be accepting USD Coin to be used for trades on itse payment platform and network. While a positive move for cryptocurrencies as a whole, Visa’s announcement has increased investor confidence in ethereum in particular as USD Coin can run on the Ethereum network.
USD Coin is what’s known as a stable coin – a crypto that’s tethered to a more solid, physical asset. This minimizes the volatility that affects the majority of cryptocurrencies, which are decentralized. Stable coins, such as USD coins therefore behave more like traditional currencies, with the value moving modestly according to global markets. This is unlike bitcoin, ethereum and their imitators, which are subjected to massive surges and drops.
Billionaire investor Mark Cuban has claimed that ethereum will now go on to “Dwarf” bitcoin following Visa’s adoption of USD Coin. He also went on to say that Ethereum’s incoming 2.0 upgrade will give it the leverage to surpass bitcoin and other cryptos.
Bitcoin currently relies mainly on storage value, and isn’t yet in a position where it can be used easily for mainstream transactions. The 2.0 upgrade puts Ethereum in a position where it can go on to surpass the world’s currently leading crypto coin.
This current stance is something of a change of tune for Mr. Cuban, who once went on record saying he’d rather buy bananas than bitcoin. With the total crypto market price hitting $2 trillion this week, it’s hardly surprising that Cuban and many other financial veterans have changed their minds in recent months.
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