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Author: Ashish Sood Updated: July 28, 2022

Widely considered the second most significant cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) is an open-source global platform that is extensively used for the creation of decentralised applications (dApps). It supports the easy creation of smart contracts that facilitate the automatic execution of certain actions upon fulfillment of an agreement’s terms between two or more parties. 

As per Gavin Wood, co-founder of Ethereum, the platform was created to make any software program censorship-resistant, more robust and less vulnerable to fraud. Some of the dApps created on Ethereum include decentralised exchanges, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), lending protocols and crypto tokens.

A Brief History on the Price of Ethereum

Let’s delve into a few important external events that have influenced Ethereum’s price in the recent past and understand how this cryptocurrency has evolved over the years, by looking at its historical timeline.

Key News for Ethereum

Ethereum went live in July 2015 and didn’t see a significant appreciation in its value up until 2017. The late-2017 and early-2018 bull run saw it touching new heights, breaching the $1400 mark for the first time ever. This was the time when many new ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) were getting launched on the Ethereum network. Then a major pullback followed in 2018, wiping off most of its gains and plummeting the coin to below the $100 level. 

Nonetheless, Ethereum being the most robust dApp and smart contract creation platform out there, had its fundamentals backing it up well, which helped it gradually regain its lost ground. ETH breached the crucial $300 resistance in June 2019 and then took over a year to cross that mark yet again in July 2020. 

With the coronavirus pandemic impacting the entire global economy, including the crypto industry, ETH traded sideways for the most part of the first half of 2020. From August 2020, it maintained a steady $300+ price level, breaching $400 resistance multiple times, and eventually breaking out into the $750 zone by the end of December 2020.  

Like the majority of cryptocurrencies, Ethereum started gaining momentum from early January 2021 onwards. There were multiple factors that drove its upward movement, including continuous institutional buying of prominent cryptocurrencies, Elon Musk’s $1.5 billion BTC investment and announcement of its acceptance as payment for Tesla cars, Ethereum Foundation’s ongoing efforts towards a switch to the Proof of Stake mechanism and the overall positive sentiment around the crypto market. 

Ethereum witnessed a significant bull run from late March 2021 onwards, pushing its price to an all-time high of $4,356.99 on May 12, 2021, before the entire crypto market came crashing down on May 19th on the back of a crypto crackdown in China. That crash halved the price of Ethereum, pulling it back in the vicinity of $2400, and further down into the $1750 region thereafter. It has been in the recovery mode since then and was on a resurgent move upwards, trading at around $2600 at the time of writing.

Ethereum Timeline

November 27, 2013 — Ethereum’s introductory paper is published by Vitalik Buterin and the domain name Ethereum.org is registered.

January 2014 — Ethereum was formally announced at the North American Bitcoin Conference held in Miami, USA.

April 1, 2014 — Ethereum protocol’s technical definition is published in the form of Yellow Paper by Dr. Gavin Wood.

July 22, 2014 — Ether is officially put up for an online crowd sale for the first time and can be purchased with Bitcoin. The sale lasts for 42 days.

July 30, 2015 — Frontier, the first live release of the Ethereum project takes place, with the generation and loading of its Genesis block. 72 million ETH are pre-mined which constitute around 62% of the coin’s total circulating supply at the time of writing. Ethereum price - $2.77.

October 4, 2015 — Imogen Heap, the English Musician, releases single ‘Tiny Human’ through the Ethereum smart contract, exhibiting complete fairness and transparency of the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum price - $0.62.

January 28, 2016 — Ethereum races past Litecoin (LTC) in terms of its market capitalisation. By now the platform’s performance has improved considerably with around 25 transactions getting processed per minute. Ethereum price - $2.49.

July 20, 2016 — Ethereum undergoes a protocol upgrade after a hack in June 2016 leads to 3.6 million ETH getting stolen. A hard fork occurs at block 1,920,000 to restore the stolen funds and patch the vulnerabilities. The original chain with unreturned funds becomes Ethereum Classic, and the new one continues as Ethereum. Ethereum price - $12.61.

December 20, 2016 — Ethereum Project’s administrators announce a data breach that has affected its community forums’ 16,500 users. Ethereum price - $7.86.

June 21, 2017 — Ethereum emerges as the leading blockchain for ICO projects like TenX and more, enjoying over 50% market share. Multiple adoption initiatives in the preceding months push its price beyond $300 for the first time. Ethereum price - $326.96.

July 20, 2017 — Hackers steal 153,000 ETH worth $34 million from Parity, the digital wallet service. Ethereum price - $217.09.

January 12, 2018 — A relentless bull run pushes ETH price beyond the $1400 barrier for the very first time. Ethereum price - $1448.18.

August 2018 December 2018Cryptocurrency bubble bursts, pulling Ethereum back into the below $400 region. It plummets further down to under $100 by December, after a long time. Ethereum price - $332.49 on August 10, 2018, and $89.85 on December 10, 2018.

April 24, 2019 — Samsung announces the creation of its own blockchain atop the Ethereum platform. Ethereum price - $165.67.

September 24, 2019 — Ethereum’s mining community expands its network capacity by around 25%, facilitating faster transactions and lower fees. Ethereum price - $168.67.

May 19, 2020 — OmiseGo (OMG), a Layer 2 scaling solution that aims to reduce Ethereum Gas fees and improve its transaction times, begins trading in the crypto market. Ethereum price - $213.69.

October 22, 2020 — PayPal introduces a crypto buying service to its US customers, allowing them to easily buy, hold and sell coins like Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin directly through their PayPal account. Ethereum price - $413.20.

December 1, 2020 — Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0, Ethereum’s next-generation ‘Proof of Stake’ version’s first stage goes live, with Beacon Chain starting block production. Ethereum price - $589.58.

February 8, 2021 — Ether Futures are announced by the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) Group, giving a further boost to its price rally that began in early January 2021. Tesla also announces a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin, giving a significant push to the entire crypto market. Ethereum price - $1,751.

March 2, 2021 — The blockchain service of Amazon Web Services (AWS) starts offering support for the Ethereum blockchain, enabling AWS customers to easily offer Ethereum nodes. Ethereum price - $1,497.

May 12, 2021 — Riding on a significant positive sentiment in the market and rallying through the most part of March and April 2021, Ethereum reached an all-time high of $4,356.99 on May 12, 2021. 

May 19, 2021 — Crypto market crashes on the back of an ongoing crackdown on digital currencies in China. Ethereum Price - $2505.

May 27, 2021 — Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin says that the long-awaited switch to ‘Proof of Stake’ consensus mechanism could solve Ethereum’s environmental problems, with the final move expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Ethereum price - $2,742.

August 4, 2021 — Ethereum undergoes a technical adjustment called the ‘London Hard Fork Upgrade’ that’s expected to reduce its high Gas fees and limit the supply of ETH tokens. Ethereum price - $2,505.

Compare Ethereum with Fiat Currencies, Commodities and Crypto

Ethereum is a platform that facilitates the easy creation of robust dApps and smart contracts. Its token Ether (ETH) serves as currency to pay for its blockchain transactions and also as a digital currency to pay for goods & services at a wide variety of online/offline platforms.

ETH is gradually gaining significant value in the global financial system. Let’s compare it to a few well-known tradable assets like fiat currencies, commodities and its popular peer in the crypto market, Bitcoin.

Compare Ethereum with the US Dollar

With the global economy continuing to recover from the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the US dollar has held its ground well and has been fairly steady so far in 2021. Ethereum on the other hand, like all other cryptocurrencies, witnessed plenty of volatility during the first half of 2021. It accomplished new highs in early May and is recovering well after the much-talked-about crypto crash on May 19.

Compare Ethereum with Gold

Gold has proven to be a safe value storage option for a long time now. The Covid19 pandemic drove its prices to new highs, with many people opting to invest in the yellow metal to safeguard themselves from the effects of the global economic crisis. 

Gold was trading at $2,067 per troy ounce mark in August 2020, but has pulled back since then and reached $1,809 per troy ounce at the time of writing. However, when stacked against Ethereum, its performance doesn’t stand anywhere close to the crypto industry’s silver. ETH appreciated by almost 500% from its early January price of around $750, to reach an all-time high of $4,356.99 by May 12, 2021. It was trading at $2505 at the time of writing.

Compare Ethereum with Bitcoin

Despite the fact that both Ethereum and Bitcoin differ greatly from each other in terms of their fundamentals and valuation but move hand-in-hand when it comes to the price fluctuations in the crypto market. While Bitcoin rallied from around $29,000 to an all-time high of $64,804 on April 14, 2021, Ethereum’s price chart too followed a similar trajectory, pushing it to new highs in May 2021. 

Ethereum Future Price Predictions

As highlighted earlier, Ethereum witnessed plenty of price action during the first half of 2021. Its ongoing transition to the ‘Proof of Stake’ consensus algorithm and the expected benefits from it, not to forget the DeFi and dApps ecosystem that depends on it greatly, all point to significant growth in the times to come. In fact, the experts believe that it has everything going for it to potentially replace Bitcoin as the top crypto on the podium. Let’s understand where its price is headed for the rest of 2021, and the times to follow.

Ethereum Price in 2021

As per a poll on a group of 42 leading Fintech experts, Ethereum is well on its way to push beyond $4000 by the end of 2021. 

Many are of the opinion that Ethereum’s ongoing switch to the Proof of Stake model is only one of the many drivers that are going to dictate its price in the future. Institutional adoption, upgrades to a deflationary asset type, continued DeFi and dApps’ development, mass utilisation, institutional adoption and investments are all going to increase its demand and keep pushing it on an upward path going forward. 

If we look at the ETH/USD chart below, it is evident that the aforementioned poll result may not be wide of the mark, as we move ahead into the second half of 2021. Even if ETH doesn’t breach the $4k barrier by the year-end, it has everything in its favour to potentially challenge the $3,500 figure at least. 

The RSI is hovering around 64, clearly depicting a bullish trend, which is further confirmed by the MACD is well above the signal line. The majority of the price candles are well above the 50 SMA, again showing a clear bullish grip.

ETH/USD chartETH/USD Daily Chart. Source: TradingView

 

Ethereum Price Predictions for 2022

Ethereum is expected to make the final switch from the current Proof of Work to the more efficient Proof of Stake mechanism by 2022. As per experts, with staked Ether securing its network, Ethereum will witness a notable increase in its sustainability, security and scalability. All these combined with the deflationary effect on the cryptocurrency, are going to push its value upwards. 

The possibility of receiving stable income through staking on a crypto exchange is also going to maintain the excitement level around the cryptocurrency. The best part about Ethereum is that its active use cases are just too many to keep it out of contention! As per one analyst, Ethereum’s average price may rest well above $4000 by July 2022. Another echoes the same sentiment, expecting ETH to witness growth up to around $4273 during the first half of 2022, and then push towards the $5000 level by December 2022.

Beyond 2022 for Ethereum

While it’s too hard to make any kind of accurate prediction about a cryptocurrency’s price so far ahead into the future, it can’t be denied that with the ongoing developments around Ethereum and its platform being a mainstay for many other crypto coins, its value is only going to appreciate beyond 2022. 

That being said, like the rest of the crypto market, Ethereum is also influenced by Bitcoin's price action; and this is something we’ve seen time and again in the past. Apart from that various other external developments, for instance, crypto crackdowns like the one still unfolding in China may also influence its price.

For more detailed predictions, read our ETH price prediction guide here.

Ethereum Price Conclusion

It’s disappointing that despite having more solid fundamentals compared to Bitcoin, Ethereum has always been viewed as the second-best cryptocurrency in the market. However, that perception is changing gradually, upgrade by upgrade. Its main upgrade Ethereum 2.0 which is almost complete, will help it scale up from 30 transactions per second to an impressive 100,000 transactions per second in the near future. This and various other factors discussed above make Ethereum a very attractive cryptocurrency to keep following and invest in, this year and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. London Upgrade is a technical adjustment to the Ethereum blockchain that will make it more sustainable, secure and scalable in the future. Though it augurs very well for the prospects of ETH in the future, there are no guarantees that the coin will witness a direct price boost because of it.
  2. It was found that as of July 13, 2021, there were a total of 3 million users of the DeFi ecosystem on Ethereum.
  3. Some of the direct competitors of Ethereum that hold great potential and are worth watching out for in the future include Cardano (ADA), EOS (EOS), Polkadot (DOT) and Cosmos (ATOM).
  4. While Ethereum’s market cap stood at close to $294 billion at the time of writing, Bitcoin’s was hovering around $722 billion.
  5. There were a total of 116,960,469 ETH in circulation at the time of writing.
  6. Ethereum has 8 co-founders who met each other for the first time in the Swiss crypto valley Zug, on June 7, 2014. These include Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Lorio, Joseph Lubin, Mihai Alisie, Jeffrey Wilcke and Amir Chetrit. Only Vitalik Buterin continues to work on the project.
  7. All transactions processed on the Ethereum blockchain have a certain fee associated with them, which is called Gas. The Gas fee is paid in ETH.
  8. ERC is the short form of ‘Ethereum Request for Comment’. An ERC-20 token can be termed as a standard employed for the creation and issuance of smart contracts and Fungible Tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. Some of the popular ERC-20 tokens include OmiseGO (OMG), Chainlink (LINK), 0x (ZRX) and Tether (USDT).
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