Ethereum Behind Crypto Hitting The $2T Mark
Ethereum’s “Ether” cryptocurrency, which is second in popularity and circulation only to Bitcoin, is reportedly behind the surpassing of an incredible $2 trillion in terms of the value of the cryptocurrency market. Ether on Monday, April 5, officially hit the all-time high value of $2,151.25 per unit, which marks an incredible 180 per cent year-on-year hike in price and value.
The general assumption made by many is that the record value-hike was catalysed by Visa’s recent decision to validate and accept Ethereum cryptocurrency payments.
At a 50 per cent domination of the market, Bitcoin still accounts for the bulk of the cryptocurrency market’s capital. It is currently pegged at a sky-high $1 trillion in annual value.
Ether Likely To Surpass Bitcoin
But while Bitcoin remains the current market leader by a mile, billionaire businessman Mark Cuban has predicted that Ethereum will have surpassed the world’s most popular digital currency by the time it (Ethereum) has completed the release of its next upgrade, being version 2.0.
Started late last year, the upgrade is designed to improve scalability as well as online security. Part of the upgrade process involves migrating the cryptocurrency from a proof-of-work algorithm to the more scalable proof-of-stake algorithm – a move Cuban says he believes will help Ethereum create more opportunities within the booming cryptocurrency market.
But Ethereum has more than an upgrade and increased scalability up its sleeve. The digital giant will soon launch “DeFi”, which is an alternative and decentralised way of financing transactions. The product aims to emulate a range of traditional financial products in an untraditional and digitally-focused manner. This means that financial products such as loans without the middle-man involvement of banks and other traditional financial institutions and service providers may soon become an actual possibility.
Ethereum Goes Smart
Another phenomenal benefit of Ethereum’s Ether is its ability to store computer codes. This ability will enable users to run so-called smart contracts on the cryptocurrency’s network.
Smart contracts allow financial transactions between the seller and the purchaser by having the terms of those contracts written directly into the code. These contracts are executed in an automated way, requiring no additional work or input on either side of the transaction. Users simply download the necessary app from an app store, fund the contract, and finalise the transaction by setting the terms for the release of the funds to the seller, or supplier.
In Ethereum’s case, these smart contracts will be funded and powered by Ether, which is expected to drive the demand for and value of the cryptocurrency up even further.