The second-largest digital currency Ethereum has hit a new all-time high of $4,740 following a surge of more than 4 percent on Monday, data from CoinMetrics showed. The week is starting on quite a positive note for cryptocurrencies as even Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in the world surged 7 percent to $66,250, very close to a record high of $66,900 attained last month.
While cryptocurrencies are known for their extreme price changes, both positive and negative, what triggered Ethereum’s new all-time high is still not clear but the new record comes amid increasing popularity for decentralized finance or DeFi, which Ethereum is a major player in. The Ethereum network powers a handful of decentralized exchange platforms such as Aave and Uniswap. The new DeFi trend seeks to build financial application applications that’ll provide lending and trading services on the blockchain. Apart from supporting these DeFi exchanges, the Ethereum network provides support for many non-fungible tokens; NFTs, which are like a digital record of ownership of rare items recorded on a blockchain.
The NFT market has witnessed a serious boom this year and NFTs are continually becoming popular, and at the rate at which NFTs are going, they may overtake cryptocurrencies in fame. Although Ethereum has solidified its position in the blockchain forefront, it is up against fierce competition from rival tokens like Cardona and Solana which have done very well this year.
Ethereum is currently undergoing an upgrade aimed at making the network better, faster and more environmentally friendly. In the recent past cryptocurrencies, majorly Bitcoin, have been criticized for consuming huge amounts of electricity. Tesla stopped accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment for its electric vehicles as a result of the harmful effect Bitcoin’s mining process had on the environment, and promised to resume accepting the cryptocurrency once a safer means of mining it is introduced.
This is the challenge Ethereum’s network wants to eradicate with the upgrade called Altair it introduced last month.
Bitcoin is doing quite well too following months of intense volatility. As of the time of drafting this story, Ethereum was trading at $4,762.72 while Bitcoin was trading at $65,881.20.