The $200 mark appears to be a critical threshold for Ethereum, with the cryptocurrency hovering around this price point since as early as May 2019. Since first breaching $200 on May 13, Ethereum rose to $361, before gradually falling off to below $200 in mid-August, following which there were several unsuccessful attempts to retake this value.
However, although Ethereum has witnessed mild gains in the past week, it hasn't done so alone. Most cryptocurrencies—except Bitcoin—in the top 10 by market capitalization have been on a gradual increase—showing that the altcoin market as a whole is rising, bringing everything up with it. Bitcoin's price has stayed relatively flat around the $10,000 mark, and its market dominance has thereby dropped by 1%.
Despite the impressive growth in the altcoin markets, alternative.me's Crypto Fear & Greed Index is still hovering around 41 (on a scale of 1-100, where 1 is most fearful and 100 least)—indicating slight concerns that these recent gains may be fleeting.
Ethereum's recent momentum comes ahead of the network's Instanbul hard fork—which is scheduled to go live in the first week of October 2019. The upcoming hard fork is expected to introduce pivotal changes to the way Ethereum operates, adding better compatibility for privacy-focused technologies, improving smart contracts and enabling it to work more closely with privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash.