It seems that investors are really buying the hype that Ethereum is cryptocurrency 2.0 and Bitcoin 3.0, quickly propelling Ether to the position of second biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, passing Ripple and now trailing only bitcoin itself.
The total market cap of Ethereum’s cryptocurrency just about doubled over the past week, reaching $200 million for the first time after only crossing past $100 million last Monday. The price jumped about 25% in the last twenty-four hours alone to above 0.0066 BTC ($2.60). Fueling the rise of Ethereum’s price were large trading volumes, about $11.6 million in the last twenty-four hours – a fifth of bitcoin’s daily trading volume ($54.5m ADV).
If you still don’t know Ethereum, its a decentralized smart contracts platform which proponents see as much more than just a cryptocurrency system as per the original idea of Satoshi Nakamoto. It is instead referred to as a better replacement to the internet or a “planetary scale computer” that can handle everything from secure communication and e-commerce, to digital governance, the internet of things and much much more.
One possible reason for the increased trading volume and price of Ether is online rumors that a big Chinese cryptocurrency exchange is about to add it to its roster. Another factor which we wrote before as likely to have brought more investors’ attention is its recent integration with the mainstream financial system. Just last Wednesday, eleven of the world’s biggest banks completed an experiment which connected them on a managed private peer-to-peer distributed ledger, underpinned by Ethereum technology.