Ethereum’s token, Ether, broke through the $1,000 barrier for the first time in its history late on Thursday. Currently, ETH has consolidated well above that level at $1,050, gaining 9.26% in the last 24 hours. The uptrend is supported by growing investor interest in altcoins.
Ethereum touched $900 on January 3 and has increased over 10% since then. The total market capitalization of the cryptocurrency is $101 billion, which is still below Ripple’s $131 billion. In the past week, Ether has generated a 40% return.
It is not clear which fundamental is supporting Ethereum’s rally the most, but there is a bullish sentiment on almost all top altcoins. On Tuesday, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin announced in a blog post that the Ethereum Foundation was to launch two subsidy programs to deliver scalability solutions for the blockchain.
Crypto Compare CEO Charles Hayter commented on the move in a letter to CNBC:
“The Ethereum Foundation has started issuing grants to help it scale. This network effect will galvanize the community and help ethereum to throw off its growing pains.”
Several banks, including Credit Suisse, UBS, and Barclays, revealed in December their plans to experiment with the Ethereum blockchain. The project aims to help financial companies meet the new EU reporting standards as set out in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II.
Ether may have touched $1,000 much earlier, but a short-term price crash in June 2017 raised concerns about its stability. At that time, the token’s price collapsed from above $317 to $0.10 because of a massive sell order on the GDAX exchange. Even though the quotation recovered within minutes, the shock was too great, and Ether could not get past its June peak until the end of November 2017.
Besides Ethereum, several other altcoins have demonstrated impressive rallies these days, among them being Ripple, Cardano, Stellar, and Tron. They have contributed to the surge in the overall crypto market cap despite the fact that Bitcoin remains far away from its record high. Bitcoin has gained 9.08% in the last 24 hours, as displayed by Coinmarket.com, but this was not enough to sustain its dominance – Bitcoin currently accounts for only one-third of the crypto market cap.