Ethereum cryptocurrency passes $4,000 for the first time
Ether, the second biggest cryptocurrency, has grown over 2,000% in the last year.
Daniel Van BoomSenior Writer
Daniel Van Boom is an award-winning Senior Writer based in Sydney, Australia. Daniel Van Boom covers cryptocurrency, NFTs, culture and global issues. When not writing, Daniel Van Boom practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, reads as much as he can, and speaks about himself in the third person.
ExpertiseCryptocurrency, Culture, International News
On May 5, 2020, one Ether token was worth $186. One year later, on Sunday night, the cryptocurrency hit $4,000 for the first time, a rise of over 2,100%. Though Dogecoin is sucking up most of the world's cryptocurrency attention, it's been a huge May for Ethereum already, as Sunday's milestone comes just a week since the cryptocurrency hit $3,000 for the first time.
Ether is a cryptocurrency minted on the Ethereum blockhain. Bitcoin, the most known currency, is built on its own, separate blockchain. But while Bitcoin is more like gold, principally used as a speculative asset, Ether is used by cryptocurrency traders to buy and sell "altcoins", such as Dogecoin. NFTs, tokens that authenticate ownership of a digital product, are notably bought and sold using Ether, not Bitcoin.
The Ethereum blockchain was founded in 2013 by Canadian-Russian programmer Vitalik Buterin when he was just 19 years old. Buterin has over 333,000 Ether tokens -- it's possible to see other traders' portfolios if you have their wallet address -- which at the current price values his holdings at over $1.36 billion.
The cryptocurrency now has a marketcap of over $460 billion. It's been growing rapidly over the past year, mostly over anticipation for its relaunch as Ether 2.0, but this latest rally is tied to news last week that the European Investment Bank issued $120 million (€100 million) in bonds using Ethereum blockchain. DogeCoin also hit a new high of nearly 70 cents this week following its listing on eToro -- before falling to around 50 cents after Elon Musk's SNL appearance.
Coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum have grown substantially since the end of 2020 for many reasons, including big tech's increasing embrace of cryptocurrency and the IPO success of Coin Base. Ethereum's price has also grown in anticipation of Ether 2.0, which will change the fundamental way in which tokens are minted. Without getting lost in the technical mumbo jumbo -- you can read here if you're interested in the difference between Proof of Work and Proof of Stake -- ether 2.0 promises to be more efficient, which will be good for traders and the planet.