Ether Hits All Time High & “US$500” by year end

After Bitcoin hit an all-time high this week, it’s now Ethereum’s turn to grab the headlines.  Last night it made a 15% surge to a new all-time high of US$425 (AU$560 on our local exchanges).

The catalyst was possibly two-fold.  Firstly, South Korea shares the major market share with the US and last night their government declared it had no plans to restrict or supervise cryptocurrency trading.  South Korea’s Bithumb is the largest crypto exchange in the world by volume and saw nearly 15% of all Ether trades over the last 24 hours.  The news was clearly taken very positively after the recent restrictions introduced in nearby China.

Secondly, billionaire fund manager Michael Novogratz who, as we’ve reported recently, is launching a new crypto hedge fund, reversed his previous bearish position on Ethereum just a few days ago.  In a Bloomber interview on Tuesday he said:

“Just in the last few days Ethereum has started to move, and I actually think it’s going to put a new high soon…..I think we end the year at close to $500 in Ethereum….. There’s a lot of positive things happening in the Ethereum ecosystem,”

For Bitcoin fans he again maintained his previously stated position that Bitcoin will hit US$10,000 (AU$13,100) before the end of this year.

Ether is certainly coming off a lower base than Bitcoin.  It’s up 500% this year where Bitcoin is up 700%.

Whilst, at $40b, Ethereum is the second largest by market cap, its utility sees it ‘used’ more than most realise.  The CEO of one of Europe’s largest bitcoin brokerages, Frank Schuil tweeted the following:

His ‘rhetorical question’ is telling in terms of the price compared to Bitcoin.  Therein lies the beauty or potential of Ether.  Part of that volume is because Ether fees are substantially less than Bitcoin and it’s faster too.  Moreover, Ethereum is a technology platform enabling decentralised applications using the blockchain, and easily the pre-eminent one at that.  From its co-creator Vitalik Buterin

“I would say that Ethereum’s main benefits are in its generality and in its utility to many kinds of industries. There are applications in finance, identity, supply chain tracking, health care, energy and many other areas. This is a result of Ethereum deliberately being designed as a general-purpose programming platform.”

So simplistically if you think of the Ethereum platform as an engine driving a new world of blockchain apps, Ether (ETH) is the fuel for that engine. 

In June the head of IBM said “What the internet did for communications, I think Blockchain will do for trusted transactions.”

This is revolutionary and completely disruptive and still in its formative stage.