The cryptocurrency Ether has surpassed $ 3,000, hitting a new record in a dizzying rally, outperforming the larger Bitcoin, as investors bet that ether will be of greater benefit in a future decentralized financial system, according to Reuters.
Ether, the token that traded on the Ethereum blockchain, rose 3% on Bitstamp to $ 3,144.81 in London morning trades. It’s up by 325% for the year so far, easily outpacing a 95% increase in the most popular bitcoin.
James Quinn, managing director at Q9 Capital, a private wealth manager for cryptocurrencies in Hong Kong, said the surge is a offsetting part of the gains made by bitcoin in late 2020.
He also said it also reflects improvements in the Ethereum blockchain, and an increasing shift towards “DeFi,” or decentralized finance, which refers to transactions outside of traditional banking services for which the Ethereum blockchain is an important platform.
“In the beginning, it was Bitcoin that was really driving the rally because with so many institutional investors entering the space, this would be their first natural outlet,” Quinn said.
“But as the rally has matured over the past six months, you have DeFi and a lot of DeFi is built on ethereum.”
The launch of ETFs in Canada and the growing demand for ether wallets to deal with non-exchangeable tokens like digital art have also pushed up prices.
The Ether / Bitcoin crossover has risen more than 100% this year and reached a 2.5-year high on Sunday, indicating a degree of rotation in the second largest cryptocurrency as investors diversify their exposure.
“Rising DeFi volumes continue to push Ethereum prices up as investors gain confidence in cryptocurrencies and see Ethereum as a second safe asset,” said Jehan Chu, managing partner at Kenich Capital Venture Capital in Hong Kong.
To illustrate the momentum for such new transactions, Bloomberg reported last week that the EIB is planning to issue a digital bond via the Ethereum blockchain, while JP Morgan plans to create a managed Bitcoin fund.
The Financial Times reported last Friday that venture capital giant Andreasen Horowitz is looking to raise a new fund of up to $ 1 billion to invest in cryptocurrencies and emerging cryptocurrencies, underlining interest in the sector.
Bitcoin, the world’s largest crypto asset with more than $ 1 trillion by market value, regained the $ 50,000 level last week and hovered around $ 58,700 on Monday, up about 4% but well below its high of $ 64,895.22.