Ethereum made considerable gains today, as the #2 ranked Cryptocurrency broke through the $600 mark. ETH is currently consolidating at $614 after a bullish run peaked at $635. A staggering trading volume of over $4.5 billion has even created issues for leading crypto exchange Coinbase, which has had to temporarily disable Ether trading. 

Ether has seen a 100.6% increase since the start of November when it traded at $306, and over 7149% since the start of this year when it reached a high of just $8.47 on January 1st.

So why now?

The majority of this trading volume took place on the Bithumb exchange as the KRW/ETH pairing currently accounts for over 10% of the trading volume.

This is not the first time the South Korean exchange has lifted the market and created a bullish frenzy. Bithumb was also the highest trading exchange during last month’s Bitcoin Cash surge that saw the price pump 108% before Bitcoin was able to regain its losses.

The Ethereum Classic pump and dump occurred soon after, as Asian investors drove the price of ETC up from $22 to $34 before that too, fell dramatically.

It would appear that the exchange is fuelling a series of bullish runs across the top cryptocurrencies in the absence of any news or developments, causing FOMO for other Investors around the world, including new investors that are just getting started. This latest trend is not surprising, given the crypto market cap has exploded in the past 24hrs as the figure has now grown from $457billion to $493billion.

These new all-time highs are short-lived and later characterized by a dramatic fall as investors on the exchange exit one coin and hastily flock to another.

So is it just a pump and dump?

That being said, the Ethereum network recorded its highest amount of transactions yesterday, amidst the current mania surrounding Crypto Kitties.

Additionally, there was an update about a UBS-led Ethereum-based compliance platform, which seems to have had a major impact on the price. Not to mention the current price of Ether is still very undervalued when compared to Bitcoin’s, and yet Ethereum has huge potential over Bitcoin in the mass market with smart contracts and app developments on the network. 

Another important development involved recent comments by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which clarified that they only have issues with ICOs which offer securities without proper compliance. This seems to indicate that utility tokens and legitimate ICOs may get a green-light, further pushing up Ethereum, which is the platform of choice for ICOs.

Amidst all these developments, it may very well be that Ether is just getting started and we may see it reaching record highs this month and the coming year.