Ether (ETH) reached a three-year high a few hours ago when it soared past the $800 mark to trade above $1,000 on cryptocurrency exchanges
Bitcoin (BTC) is currently capturing most of the attention in the cryptocurrency world as it continues on its record-setting bull run. The leading digital currency reached a new all-time high (ATH) during the week after it surpassed the $30,000 mark to reach $34,000—its highest level since the first BTC was mined on 3 January 2009.
However, while Bitcoin is setting new ATH’s every few days, other altcoins haven’t been left behind. The native digital coin of the Ethereum blockchain and the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap crossed the $800 mark during the weekend to trade at $1,000. This is the first time Ether has reached the $1,000 mark since January 2018.
The rally to $1,000 pushed Ether’s market cap to $116 billion, second only to Bitcoin. Its market cap is nearly $100 billion higher than that of Tether (USDT), which has replaced XRP as the third-largest cryptocurrency by market value.
Ether’s rally coincides with growing institutional interest in the cryptocurrency. Recent data shows that 39 new whales’ accounts holding 10,000 or more ether were added in the last two months. The entry of whales could signal a rising demand for ETH.
Last month, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) announced that it would launch a futures contract on ether. The ETH futures contract will begin on 8 February, and each contract will comprise of 50 units of ether.
Market analysts believe that CME’s entry into the Ethereum market shows institutional demand is expanding to other leading altcoins.
While Bitcoin experienced an electric start to 2021, Ether’s performance over the past 24 hours has surpassed that of the leading cryptocurrency. ETH is up by 33% over the last 24 hours while BTC’s rally has slowed down, and it is currently down by 2%.
Ether’s price surge has not been as dramatic as Bitcoin. It broke the $600 for the first time since May 2018 in November 2020. Ether reached the $700 mark the following month and had to wait till the weekend to reach $800. The second-largest cryptocurrency then moved past $800 and $900 in the same morning and has kept its price above $1,000 for the past few hours.