Ethereum seems to be getting out of a shot-term slump with a strong rally that surpassed the previous all-time high. Although difficult to fathom, but ETH has had over 1000% increase in only one year.
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If Bitcoin is the king, then Ethereum is surely the queen of all cryptocurrencies. Ranked as 2nd cryptocurrency, ETH has an impressive market cap of more than $500 billion USD. Data provided by CoinMarketCap.
On Friday, Ethereum climbed up to new heights as it reached an ATH of $4,461 before having a slight price correction. As of now, October 30, 2021, ETH is at $4,350 which is comfortably below the record high.
Considering the significantly lower market cap compared with Bitcoin’s insane $1,162 billion USD, Ethereum may look bad. However, ETH has been a remarkably better investment for the past year. The 1000% increase over one year dwarfs BTC’s growth by more than three times. Furthermore, to put that in perspective, the S&P 500 has had a 38% increase in the same time frame.
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Ethereum for Innovation
Looking back, we can see the Ethereum network always being in the forefront of innovation for blockchain technology. Smart contracts, NFTs, DApps and numerous other features have been first introduced first on the Ethereum network. Not to mention the fact that the network is the most desired platform to host other blockchain projects. Many of the popular cryptocurrencies are on the ERC20 network such as Shiba Inu, Chainlink, Tether USDT etc.
In that regard, we can clearly see how Bitcoin falls behind these innovations as other altcoins try to simply keep up with ETH. Bitcoin at this point is primarily considered as an asset. On the other hand, Ethereum is the bleeding edge of blockchain technology and innovation. Hence the deserved 1000% can justified by innovation.
The latest price hike is mostly caused by the latest Altair upgrade that took place on Wednesday. This upgrade is part of the massive Ethereum 2.0 upgrade that is now postponed to 2022.
Ethereum 2.0 is the critical upgrade that will put an end to the Proof of Work consensus algorithm. As of 2021, Ether is utilizing a hybrid model where both miners and nodes are at work. The plan is to retire all miners with full adoption of the Proof of Stake algorithm. All PoW cryptocurrencies have been heavily under fire due to high gas fees and energy consumption.
The PoS consensus algorithm has proven to be much more energy efficient, scalable and cost efficient. The benefits make it a no brainer move for Vitalik Buterin to make the initial move toward PoS adoption.
The concern however, is whether or not the upgrade will backlash and if the team can minimize the possibly destructive consequences. The 2.0 upgrade is set to happen in early 2022. Until then, we should wait and see how they manage to execute possibly the biggest upgrade in blockchain history.
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