In the past few months it seems like Ethereum is only going higher and higher every day – and today is no exception. However, what makes today’s jump in the price of Ether different is that it marks significant milestones in a possible road to the top of the cryptocurrency food chain.
Ethereum’s overall market capitalization increased by about 26% in the last twenty-four hours, reaching about $730 million as of the time of writing. Beyond the very impressive growth rate, this figure is important in its own right as it is more than the total market cap of all other altcoins combined. Additionally, at over a tenth of the value of bitcoin itself – a feat no other cryptocurrency has come close to – Ethereum actually looks to be able to soon question the dominance of the world’s first blockchain.
Looking at the actual price of Ether we can see it shoot past benchmark levels such as $9 and 0.02 BTC and the exchange rates now stand at around $9.3 and 0.022 BTC. Supporting the rise are exceptionally large trading volumes also – about $29.3 million in the last twenty-four hours.
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Unprecedented scale of institutional collaboration
Possibly behind the increased price and volumes is the news that R3 has successfully tested five distinct blockchain technologies in parallel for the first time. Forty banks connected to a managed private distributed ledger technologies built by Chain, Eris Industries, Ethereum, IBM and Intel.
The banks evaluated the technology by running smart contracts programmed to facilitate issuance, secondary trading and redemption of commercial paper (a short-term fixed income security typically issued by corporations to raise funding). Each of the distributed ledgers ran a smart contract based on identical business logic to enable the banks to accurately compare the difference in performance between them.
Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum Founder, said: “Although “the” Ethereum blockchain is a public blockchain, it is great to see private and consortium blockchains using the Ethereum codebase actively under development. I’m delighted to support the R3 consortium’s participation in the evaluation and development of the Ethereum platform through this trial. The smart contract capability used in this trial allows developers to encode any “rules” that the blockchain will enforce, allowing anything from simple asset issuance to highly complex financial derivatives to be implemented on the platform.”
Tim Grant, Managing Director and Global Head of R3’s Collaborative Lab, commented: “In January we were able to demonstrate the ability to unite eleven global financial institutions on a private distributed ledger provided by Ethereum. With the completion of this trial we have raised the bar significantly with the sheer number of global financial institutions, distributed ledger technologies and cloud providers working together in parallel to demonstrate how this nascent technology can be applied to real-world financial markets processes by deploying smart contracts on an actively traded asset class. This represents great momentum for the R3 consortium and the technology providers and supports our aim to move distributed ledger technology from vision to execution.”
Casey Kuhlman, CEO of Eris Industries, added: “The Eris platform is designed to make it fast and easy for developers to create applications using any blockchain or other distributed systems. In this experiment our open-sourcetools successfully deployed suites of smart contracts on both a fully-permissionable ErisDB blockchain and an instance of a Go-Ethereum private blockchain. It was a pleasure working with R3 and we look forward to future experimentation.”