Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, has surpassed a valuation of $3,000 per coin for the first time ever.
The world’s second largest cryptocurrency breached the milestone overnight and has registered gains of more than 10% in the last 24 hours alone. At the time of writing, Ether is being traded at almost $3,200.
The arrival at this landmark price point is the product of a cryptocurrency bull run (or period of growth) that extends back to November last year, at which point Ether was valued at just $500 per unit.
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Superficially, the price of Ether may seem unspectacular in comparison to that of Bitcoin, which is currently priced at roughly $59,000, but the former has provided a superior return in recent months.
The value of Ether has quadrupled since the turn of the year, with Bitcoin doubling in price in the same timeframe. Since the start of the bull run, meanwhile, the Ether price has increased by more than 500%, versus the circa 315% rise exhibited by its more famous counterpart.
Traditionally, movements in the price of Bitcoin have acted as a bellwether for the performance of Ether. However, despite Bitcoin faltering in the last couple of weeks, the price of Ether has continued to climb.
Commentators have attributed this growth to a combination of factors, many of which are linked to qualities that distinguish the Ethereum network from others like it.
Others have suggested the price of Ether has also benefited from the ongoing transition to Ethereum 2.0, which will ultimately push the network towards a more sustainable, efficient and scalable model.
As part of this process, the introduction of a mechanism known as sharding will improve the network’s throughput dramatically, allowing Ethereum to compete more effectively with legacy payments systems.
However, while it is easy to be taken in by the online frenzy and graphs sawing up and to the right, anyone looking to catch this latest wave should exercise caution. Cryptocurrencies remain an extremely volatile (and therefore inherently risky) asset class and, as many learned the hard way in 2017, a significant market correction could spell disaster for investors unable to absorb the losses.
TechRadar is supported by its audience. TechRadar does not endorse any specific cryptocurrencies or blockchain-based services and readers should not interpret TechRadar content as investment advice. Our reporters hold only small quantities of cryptocurrency (under $100 in value), as is necessary to perform wallet and exchange reviews, and do not hold shares in any publicly listed cryptocurrency companies.
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Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.