Ether rises to record high as use of Ethereum blockchain surges
Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, soared to a record above US$4,400 Friday on bullish sentiment surrounding an upgrade to the Ethereum network and rival Bitcoin’s recent rally to a high of its own.
The digital asset gained as much as 3.5 per cent to US$4,403.93, topping the previous record of US$4,379.62 in May. The token was around US$4,350 at 10:26 a.m. in London trading. Other tokens including Binance Coin and Solana rallied. Ether is now worth more than US$510 billion, according to data from CoinGecko.com.
Ether’s latest milestone comes as the digital token has far outperformed Bitcoin throughout this year with a sixfold increase amid surging retail and institutional investor interest in the space.
Ether underpins the affiliated Ethereum Network, the dominant blockchain used for thousands of decentralized applications. The system got a further boost this week after a successful upgrade designed to make it faster and more energy-efficient.
Outstanding futures in Ether soared to US$12.5 billion, exceeding the May peak to notch a new record high, Bybt data show. Similar to Bitcoin, funding rates — or the cost of keeping a bullish bet open — have climbed this month on online exchanges. On CME, the futures curve has also steepened in a sign of optimism over the price trajectory.
“On-chain activity metrics for Ethereum appear to have found support and are reaching multi-month highs,” said Sean Farrell and Will McEvoy, digital asset strategists with Fundstrat in a report Thursday. Measures including transaction rate, new addresses and active addresses have shown strong growth this month after suffering declines in May, the strategists said.
Bitcoin rose some 40 per cent this month to reach a record of almost US$67,000 following the debut of the first Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund in the U.S. The world’s biggest digital currency was 0.7 per cent lower in London trading at US$60,985.