The Ethereum price has surpassed $752 for the first time in history, recording a staggering 20 percent increase in value over the past 24 hours, led by the US market.
Throughout the past few days, the US market accounted for nearly 25 percent of global Ether trades. GDAX, the flagship cryptocurrency exchange of Coinbase, and Bitfinex processed 23 percent of the global Ethereum exchange market’s Ether trades.
Currently, the daily trading volume of Ether is close to $5 billion, more than four times larger than Bitcoin Cash, the third largest cryptocurrency in the global market behind bitcoin and Ethereum.
What is Pushing Ethereum Price Up?
Earlier this month, billionaire investor Mike Novogratz predicted the price of Ether to increase by three-fold throughout 2018. In terms of developer activity and transaction volume, Ethereum remains as the only public blockchain network which can compete against bitcoin.
In fact, as of current, the Ethereum blockchain network processes more transactions than all of the cryptocurrencies in the market including bitcoin combined at 820,000 transactions per day.
Decentralized applications such as CryptoKitties and EtherDelta have also demonstrated the potential of Ethereum as the base protocol for decentralized exchanges and digital asset trading platforms, which is an application that is useful beyond finance.
As A16Z partner and Earn.com CEO balaji Srinivasan stated, “Why is CryptoKitties actually important? It’s one of the first examples of what people have been talking about for years: frictionless international trading of digital assets (not just cash!) on a blockchain.”
Already, CryptoKitties has processed $15 million worth of digital kittens within the past two months and other dapps like EtherDelta have also been processing more than 80,000 transactions on a daily basis.
Vitalik Buterin Not Convinced
Sharing a similar sentiment as Litecoin creator and former Coinbase executive Charlie Lee, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin questioned whether the the half of trillion dollar market valuation of cryptocurrencies can be justified.
“So total cryptocoin market cap just hit $0.5T today. But have we earned it? How many unbanked people have we banked? How much censorship-resistant commerce for the common people have we enabled? How many decentralized applications have we created that have substantial usage? Low added value per user for using a blockchain is fine, but then you have to make up for it in volume. How much value is stored in smart contracts that actually do anything interesting? How many Venezuelans have actually been protected by us from hyperinflation? How much actual usage of micropayment channels is there actually in reality?”
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies are transforming the global finance sector and more multi trillion dollar industries at a rapid rate. But, Buterin emphasized that cryptocurrencies in the market including Ethereum have not done enough to solve the problems he mentioned in the statement above. At least not sufficient to justify the $0.5 trillion market valuation.
“In the last 3 years, the crypto market cap has increased by 200x, but I definitely don’t feel like crypto’s potential has increased by 200x. In some key sectors (eg. payments) it has even regressed,” Buterin added.
But, Buterin also noted that these questions must be asked for the cryptocurrency community to increase developer activity around leading blockchains and collaborate on improving the infrastructures of blockchain networks like Ethereum.
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