The price of Ethereum (ETH) set a new all-time high earlier this week of $2,665—and it hasn’t let up since. Now, ETH is trading for just below $2,800, enough to send its market capitalization above $320 billion and surpass that of payments giant PayPal.
Ethereum is currently in “price discovery mode”—meaning, since its price has never been higher, traders are still trying to sort out what its current value should be. Some see it aiming higher.
Bullish investors point to two primary reasons for ETH’s upward trajectory: increased institutional interest, and upcoming upgrades to the Ethereum network which could have a positive impact on the price of ETH.
Last week, three Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs) hit the Toronto Stock Exchange. Crypto ETFs allow investors to buy shares in a fund and bet on the price of an asset without actually purchasing the underlying crypto. They’re considered an easier path toward crypto investing than the comparatively onerous process of buying and selling on a cryptocurrency exchange.
Currently, no crypto ETFs exist in the US, since the SEC has yet to approve one. But in Canada, they are now eight such funds: four Bitcoin ETFs, and four Ethereum ETFs. And they’ve proven popular: the ETH ETFs that launched on April 20 got off to a $138 million start. Investors are optimistic that with a new chairman in Gary Gensler taking the helm at the SEC soon that the Commission may finally opt to allow such funds to trade in the US.
That optimism extends to developments on the Ethereum network itself. As Ethereum moves forward with its planned ETH2.0 rollout, a scheduled upgrade set for July 14 called "EIP-1559" will effectively cause a reduction to the overall supply of ETH. And if the demand for ETH among investors continues to rise while its supply decreases, it’s possible that this will cause the price of Ethereum to rise further. That demand, however, could be tempered by wild swings in the crypto market, or forthcoming regulations aimed at cryptocurrencies, which may deter some investors who prefer to stick with less volatile alternatives.
PayPal, for its part, has become increasingly involved in the crypto space within the last year. Trading for $264 at a $310 billion market cap, the company opened its doors to Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a select few other cryptocurrencies in November 2020.
Just today, Coinbase—which itself just went public on April 14—added a new feature to its app which allows its users to buy crypto using a PayPal account.
The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.
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