The second-largest crypto by market capitalization, Ethereum (ETH) hit a new all-time high of $2,121. It's part of a week-long surge that's sent Ethereum back over the $2,000 mark for the first time since February.
Etereum has had a big year. The digital token for the Ethereum network gained as much as 5.7% to $2,082 on Friday. This year, it has surged about 170%, first topping $2,000 briefly on an intraday basis in February. It's part of a week-long rally for the crypto. According to the index it has gained about 3%, while Bitcoin was little changed after more than doubling this year.
ETH has played a significant role in the craze for non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Most of which operate on the ETH blockchain.
Ethereum network also powers most decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, such as the increasingly popular decentralized exchange Uniswap, which now handles billions of dollars in volume daily. Billionaire investor and the owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team, Mark Cuban, said on a recent podcast episode that he’s bullish on cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, but that Ethereum is “the closest we have to a true currency.”
The token has mirrored the gains in Bitcoin over the past year amid a flood of stimulus aimed at boosting the global economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. Critics warn that crypto is a speculative bubble that will likely burst. Ether has a market value of about $230 billion, compared with about $1.1 trillion for Bitcoin, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com.
There's also buzz around future upgrades to the ETH network, the most important of which is Ethereum 2.0.
Presently trading right around $2,134, ETH has pulled back since its new all-time high. The rally saw ETH break through the first major resistance level at $1,872 and the second major resistance level at $1,903. There is still a gain of nearly 6% within the last 24 hours and an increase of 183% since the start of the year.