Amid continued interest in the digital asset space and increased trade from Asia, ethereum, an alternative cryptocurrency to bitcoin, hit a fresh record high on Sunday.
According to data from industry website CoinDesk, ethereum traded at an all-time high of $250.41 during the week end and on Sunday. And compared to the $8.52 handle it had on January 1 of this year, that value is up 2,839 percent. However slightly off its record high, ethereum was trading at around $246.62 on Monday morning.
ethereum blockchain, which is the technology that underpins the digital coin, forms the basis of the running of the cryptocurrency with the name of ether. However, shorthand for the digital currency is also one of the more often used utility for the ethereum.
Supporting the so-called smart contract applications was the aim for the designing of ethereum. When certain conditions are met, a computer program that is capable of automatically executing the terms of a contract is known as a smart contract. And large corporates and investors are excited by this practical use of ethereum and this has led to the rally of the cryptocurrency.
However, the price rally is also supported by a number of other reasons. In order to work on projects using the blockchain, and to connect large companies to technology vendors, a group called the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was recently founded. JPMorgan, Microsoft and Intel are among the companies that were involved in the launch. And helping to give legitimacy to the technology, there has been a recent addition of a further 86 companies to the group.
A new way for cryptocurrency start-ups to raise money, initial coin offerings (ICO) has seen a surge. And the price of the cryptocurrency has been boosted as many of the companies are based on the ethereum blockchain, which means that it would utilize ether tokens, and these ICOs have been worth tens of millions of dollars.
Recently meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum. Putin and Buterin discussed the application of the technology in the country, industry publication The Cointelegraph reports. The price of bitcoin and ethereum can be helped by further regulation and government intervention, cryptocurrency experts said.
According to industry website CryptoCompare, amidst rising interest from other regions, at the present moment, much of the trading volume in ethereum — around 38 percent — is coming from South Korea.
“All major Asian exchanges, including ours, are currently overwhelmed by the sudden growth in our client base and trading activity,” Aurelien Menant, founder and CEO of Gatecoin, a regulated bitcoin and ethereum exchange based in Hong Kong, said.
“Specifically, requests for more ether trading pairs seems to be a common theme,” Menant added, highlighting the growing interest for traders based in a number of countries.
(Adapted from CNBC)