Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, Ether, is right now the hottest commodity in the crypto trading markets, ranked fourth in market capitalization.
It unclear how much Ethereum’s creators expected Ether to become a hot trading commodity, but either way, it can be argued that such goes hand in hand with its utility as a currency on the network.
Bitcoin’s currency is mined and envisioned to act as a real world currency to buy anything, as partially evidenced by the thousands of merchants accepting it for payment (although the majority have it converted immediately to fiat). The main intention behind Ether, however, is for it to be spent internally on the Ethereum network when executing certain actions, and for it to be mined by those contributing resources to the network.
Ethereum’s protocol was officially launched one week ago, with its genesis block created and its first tool for building applications, Frontier, released.
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Ether is currently traded at around 0.0025 BTC. There are around 60.4 million in existence, making for a market cap of $39 million.
A total of roughly $430,000 worth of Ether has been traded during the past 24 hours, also ranking it fourth among cryptocurrencies, not far behind Ripple’s XRP.
The number of exchanges supporting it has been growing steadily since it became available. It is traded against bitcoin on Poloniex, Gatecoin, Coinsquare, and most recently, ShapeShift. On Kraken, it is traded against five fiat currencies and bitcoin.
In the brief trading history thus far, it has not yet undergone the hype-driven speculative pumps as found with other coins making their way into the top ten in market cap rank (think Auroracoin, Paycoin). This is also observed with the relatively tame trading volume, although it may grow quickly in the near future.
It may have to do with the fact that its utilitarian role is known, not subject to wild speculation as being the currency of the future. But once it makes its way onto the unregulated cryptocurrency markets, there are no guarantees.