Last week, Ether, the world’s second-largest digital currency, jumped to a fresh record of $2,800 and almost doubled the price it reached when we wrote about it on January 19 of this year. This morning, it broke past $3,000 to set a new record high in a dazzling rally that has outshone the bigger bitcoin, with investors betting that ether will be of even greater use in a decentralized future financial system.
The sudden rise in Ether reflects in institutional appetite for Ether after a major upgrade to Ethereum protocols, which will enable faster transaction rates and reduce the amount of power required to process transactions.
Many analysts also attributed the rise to a growing shift towards “DeFi”, or decentralized finance, which refers to transactions outside traditional banking for which the ethereum blockchain is a crucial platform.
Meanwhile, Bitcoin price falters after breaking through a technical barrier. Bitcoin came off two-week highs on Sunday morning, falling as much as 2.5% to $58,432.60 as of the time of writing.
So how is Ethereum different from Bitcoin? Unlike bitcoin, the Ethereum blockchain network powers many of today’s crypto transactions. For example, Ethereum has several software developers building apps on its network.
Ether is the native token of the Ethereum blockchain. The same goes for the popular non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital assets meant to represent ownership of rare virtual items like art and sports memorabilia, which are also processed on the Ethereum network.