Ethereum started trading at just $8 in January but is now above $400 according to CoinMarketCap data, meaning an appreciation of 5,000 percent.
The cryptocurrency crossed the $400 price mark this week to $425.55 Thursday, breaking a June record of $414.76. The cryptocurrency is now worth $39 billion in market cap while the largest cryptocurrency Bitcoin is valued at $137 billion.
At the same time, the market value of all cryptocurrencies have reached quarter-of-a-trillion mark according to CoinMarketCap.
The leading or most active exhanges for Ethereum were Bitfinex, Bithumb, and GDAX with Bitfinex accounting for 8.63% and Bithumb 8.26% of the total volume. GDAX accounted for 6.4% of the total volume.
A recent chart that has been circulating reveals the price could be on the rise due to rise in demand for ether. The chart compares number of Ethereum transactions with other cryptocurrencies over the past days. Ethereum transactions, the chart shows, account for more than 50 percent of all cryptocurrency trades.
All the factors affecting prices remain unknown because many transactions in blockchain are automated, and transaction volumes will never tell the whole story of the price moves.
However, the rise in price of ETH is good news because like Bitcoin, Ether sales reacted by taking a mild hit earlier this week after announcement that Tether was hacked and $31m USDT stolen and diverted to an illegal Bitcoin address.
Bitcoin buzz this week has been mostly about Bitcoin mutual funds and Bitcoin futures contracts intended by CME Group Inc and others, and talks about Ethereum derivatives hit the scenes on Wednesday too. This was after publication of a whitepaper by Banca IM about how an ether smart contract could be used for evaluating default risk.
These announcements have been said to cause Bitcoin price increases and might lead to further increases as more investors seek plugde in. CME launches its Bitcoin futures contract by end of next month.
Banca believes blockchain can boost transparency in the derivatives market. It also believes that the blockchain could conceive the future of the quadrillion-dollar derivatives market.
“The fundamental idea is to perform a change — a reform if you want — of the business model of financial derivatives to exploit in the best way the technology of the blockchain to get derivatives which are more transparent, which are more secure,” the paper said.
The increase also corresponds to increase in Bitcoin prices to above $8300 yesterday, and many people hope it will reach $10,000 by end of the week.