The ethereum price raced to an all-time high on Friday, fueling speculation that the second largest cryptocurrency will crack the $500 mark before the end of the year.
Since breaking past resistance at $310 two weeks ago, the ethereum price has embarked on a seemingly-unstoppable rally. On Thursday, the ethereum price surpassed the $400 mark for the first time since June. Before long it had reached a new all-time high, confirming the recent prediction of billionaire hedge fund manager Mike Novogratz, who forecasted that it would soon reach this milestone en route to a year-end target of $500.
The dramatic surge continued on Friday, as the ethereum price posted another double-digit percentage increase, bringing it to a new high-water mark of $465 on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. Ethereum now has a market cap of $44.8 billion, raising its market share to 16.7 percent from 13.9 percent one week ago.
As is often the case, South Korean exchanges are leading the rally. ETH/KRW is trading at an approximate premium of $10 over comparable USD and BTC pairs. Altogether, ethereum has more than $2 billion in 24-hour trading volume, ranking it third among all cryptocurrencies.
It is not immediately clear what is fueling the ethereum price rally, although it could be tied to investor relief that the cryptocurrency will not initiate a contentious hard fork to recover the 513,774.16 ether -- worth $238 million at present -- that are currently frozen by the Parity multi-signature wallet bug. The increase could also stem from a recent analysis that found the ethereum network is processing more transactions than all other cryptocurrency networks combined.
One of the more notable aspects of ethereum's day-over-day performance is that it has come at the expense of neither bitcoin -- which held steady for the day -- nor bitcoin cash, which has joined ethereum in its double-digit climb. Together, these rallies have carried the total cryptocurrency market cap to a record $263 billion, which makes the total value of cryptocurrency units in circulation greater than Australia's M1 (narrow money) supply.
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