- Ethereum shot past $US1,600 to secure a new all-time high ahead of next week’s CME futures launch.
- The digital asset hit a record high of $US1,698.56. Meanwhile, bitcoin rose 3%, to $US37,381.
- Crypto traders have a valuable lesson to learn from last week’s Reddit war against Wall Street players.
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Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, pierced a new all-time high on Thursday, bringing its year-to-date rally to 128%.
Continuing bullish momentum led the token’s price to hit a record high of $US1,698.56, before settling around 2% lower.
Although the trade seems to be partly fuelled by speculation, a major factor driving demand is the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s launch of Ethereum futures on February 8.
Ethereum’s upward trajectory may be representative of the “fortunes of the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem,” said Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex. One macroeconomist expects the price to surge higher, to around $US1,920, ahead of the CME launch.
Rising confidence among institutional investors over blockchain-based technologies has also helped Ethereum’s influence grow within the sphere of cryptocurrencies. Euphoria in the hot asset class boosted the total market value of cryptocurrencies above $US1 trillion for the first time last month.
Grayscale Investments, the world’s largest cryptocurrency fund manager, this week added an extra 25,000 ETH coins, bringing its total Ethereum holdings to $US4.5 billion. The fund also reopened its Ethereum fund to accredited investors.
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Separately, bitcoin rose 3% on Thursday to $US37,381.04, against the backdrop of continuing global macroeconomic uncertainty with the potential to devalue fiat currencies.
Further, crypto traders have a valuable lesson to learn from the tussle between Reddit traders and big Wall Street players last week.
“When you engage with centralised finance, you will always be, to some extent, putting your trust and faith in a brand,” said Sergey Nazarov, the co-founder of Chainlink. Decentralized finance offers users the ability to trade without the fear of being shut down, rules that apply equally to all sides, and full control over one’s assets, he said.
“Add in the fact that we’re entering one of the lowest yield environments in decades and DeFi lets anyone earn high yield, and of course more and more people will pour into the Ethereum space in order to engage with these popular applications,” Nazarov said.