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Ethereum soars on NFT frenzy and EU show of confidence

  • May 06 2021
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Ethereum soars on NFT frenzy and EU show of confidence

By Cameron Micallef
May 06 2021

The price of the second-largest cryptocurrency, ethereum, has smashed its previous record high off the back of the NFT craze and a show of confidence from the European Union, an industry expert has said.

Ethereum soars on NFT frenzy and EU show of confidence

Ethereum soars on NFT frenzy and EU show of confidence

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  • May 06 2021
  • Share

The price of the second-largest cryptocurrency, ethereum, has smashed its previous record high off the back of the NFT craze and a show of confidence from the European Union, an industry expert has said.

Ethereum soars on NFT frenzy and EU show of confidence

Ethereum, or ether for short, hit a record high of US$3,400 ($4,400) before settling at just shy of US$3,350 ($4,340).

The currency's rapid surge has been linked to the growing popularity of NFTs as well as a surprise move by the European Investment Bank (EIB), which recently issued $120 million worth of two-year bonds on the ethereum network. 

NFTs are unique collectible tokens that are permanently tied to a specific digital asset. Their sudden rise in popularity was sparked by a string of artists, influencers and musicians who turned to selling NFT versions of their digital art, with investors and collectors (virtually) lining up to jump on the new craze. 

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Given that NFTs live on a blockchain, mainly ethereum, the surging popularity of the new asset class has seen the number of active buyers for ethereum grow, ultimately lifting the value of the cryptocurrency.

RMIT’s senior lecturer, Angel Zhong, believes the NFT craze is likely to continue to drive the value of ethereum, but she questioned how valuable the coin can become. 

“At this stage, it is unclear the upper limit of ethereum, as there is always an irrational or psychological component in financial markets. A similar example is that no one would have predicted that Gamestop could surge to beyond US$400,” she said. 

According to eToro’s market analyst, Simon Peters, the real-world applications for ethereum, including the EIB’s recent move, have instigated its sudden surge.

“Ethereum has been moving in a sharp upwards trajectory since its latest hardfork as it continues to prove its use-case. The number of DApps (Decentralised Applications) continues to grow on the platform, and there is now growing demand from institutional investors for the ethereum cryptoasset itself,” he said.

Ether prices have more than quadrupled in 2021, soaring 375 per cent. The cryptocurrency is currently the second-largest digital currency by market value, although it is currently still worth less than half of bitcoin based on market capitalisation.

The total value of all ethereum in circulation is now about $367 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin’s market value is US$1.1 trillion ($1.42 trillion).

A year ago the price of ethereum was US$210.

As ethereum surges and bitcoin lingers below record highs, bitcoin’s share of the market has dropped below 50 per cent for the first time in nearly three years.

Ethereum soars on NFT frenzy and EU show of confidence
Ethereum soars on NFT frenzy and EU show of confidence
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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