The Ether price gains of late haven’t gotten nearly the amount of media attention as the Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) price.
But with the Ether price (or Ethereum if you prefer) hitting new record highs again today, you can expect to hear more about the world’s second largest cryptocurrency.
Ether price versus the Bitcoin price
The Ether price at the time of writing is US$2,763 (AU$3,542), according to data from CoinDesk. That’s down a tad from the $2,800 it reached earlier today, but still up 1.1% over the past 24 hours.
Admittedly, in the fast-moving world of cryptocurrencies, that’s not a huge price gain. But just 12 months ago Ether was trading for a mere US$212. Meaning anyone who bought Ether this time last year is sitting on a 1,203% gain.
At the current price, this gives Ether a market cap of US$319.6 billion. And Ether is changing virtual hands at a significant rate, with more than US$38.9 billion in transaction over the past 24 hours.
So how does this compare to Bitcoin?
Well, Bitcoin remains the world’s largest digital asset. At the current price of US$53,515, Bitcoin has a market cap of US$1.0 trillion.
The Bitcoin price is down 2.2% over the past 24 hours, with US$48.3 billion of Bitcoin transacted in that time.
Over the past 12 months, Bitcoin has gained 504%.
What’s driving crypto investors’ interest in Ether?
Ether’s blockchain can be used to facilitate financial transactions.
As Reuters reports, the record Ether price this week appears to be linked to “the European Investment Bank’s plans to launch a ‘digital bond’ sale on the ethereum blockchain network“.
Anonymous sources, first reported by Bloomberg, revealed that “the EIB plans to issue a two-year 100-million euro digital bond, with the sale to be led by Goldman Sachs, Banco Santander, and Societe Generale”.
Danny Kim is the head of revenue at cryptocurrency broker SFOX. He concurred that news of the European Investment Bank’s digital bond sale had “triggered a bullish institutional use case for ethereum”.
Kim also pointed to a lower supply for the run-up to record high ether price:
The amount of ethereum sitting on exchanges continues to drop lower and has been the lowest in the past year. With less supply on exchange available, there’s less likely a chance of a major sell-off.
Whether you’re considering investing in Bitcoin, Ether or even Dogecoin, remember that crypto prices are notoriously volatile.
While the Ether price is currently sitting at record levels, no one can accurately predict where it’s heading next.