Bitcoin price

Ethereum’s Market Cap Reaches $8 Billion, as Prices Jump Near $90

After some amazing gains you’d think ethereum would take a break, but someone pressed on the gas pedal today, making it jump $10 in around three hours, up from around $75-$80 to almost $90, giving it a market cap of more than $8 billion.

Ethereum rises to almost $90.

That’s $1 billion more than just yesterday, but where is all this money coming from? Well, Google searches for ethereum have spiked to an all-time high, nearly doubling in just one week.

Switzerland, where the Ethereum Foundation is based, showed the strongest interest, followed by Venezuela. The South American country is going through some troubles, with inflation at triple digits. Interestingly, some of them seem to be choosing eth, perhaps as a hedge.

Netherlands, out of all countries, has also shown interest. Their national grid has launched a blockchain based pilot to manage supply and demand misbalances. It’s based on Hyperledger, but some of the attention might have rubbed off to eth.

Overall, worldwide interest in ethereum seems to be growing at a pretty fast rate. That has made some nervous because the currency is to undergo some upgrades, with Proof of Stake being the biggest in the near term.

Some worry that this price appreciation might be giving miners too much power and that as the community grows upgrades becomes more difficult. Vlad Zamfir, an ethereum developer, has therefore suggested a decrease of block rewards to reduce miner’s incomes.

It seems to have some community support, probably because such decrease would reduce supply and thus, if demand remains the same, it should increase the price even faster, potentially defeating its own ostensible aim.

Personally, I’m ambiguous on this, but I think its playing with what isn’t broken. Ethereum has a clear roadmap to which everyone has agreed. It should stick to it. The claimed fear of miners I think is unfounded.

Now that’s a slightly strong statement and we don’t really have much data to base it on, but the protocol stagnation in bitcoin is primarily due to developers and the wider community, including miners, having different visions, and thus roadmaps, of how bitcoin should progress.

There are no such different visions in eth and I don’t think there can be as far as PoS is concerned, for the vast majority of some 70%-80% anyway. The roadmap and plan is clear, so, whoever doesn’t like it is free to pack their bags.

Now obviously their reward should reduce once the PoS/PoW hybrid upgrade is underway so that it can be correspondingly shared between the PoS part and the PoW part. I don’t think they can have any objection to that and it would be a flag-day fork anyway so they can object all they please.

Most of ethereans, if not all, will probably stick to the roadmap so, if miners give us the opportunity to CPU mine the real eth, then so much the better. They can go play at their own ghost-town.

They probably won’t though. I don’t think they’ll put up any resistance because it would be silly, not much different than some miners who around 2010 stuck to a 50btc per block reward chain.

So, perhaps miners should be left alone and developers focus on getting the PoS upgrade ready for merging with any decision regarding the block reward, both in the PoS/PoW and the full PoS, based on long term considerations of the smallest level of inflation for the optimal level of security, rather than on temporary considerations of price movements which, as we all know, can go up as well as very down.

So, after considering this, I guess I am more in favor of just sticking to the roadmap, rather than fully neutral. It just seems needlessly distracting from things like the Ethereum Name Service (ENS).

That just launched an hour or so ago. Haven’t had much time to look at, but it allows you to give a legible name to the very long eth addresses.

Will anyone really use it or will it cause a doteth bubble? Who knows. What we know is everything is up. The boom times have arrived, the party is at full-swing and the champagne is flowing.

Featured image from Shutterstock.