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Ether hits $500 billion market cap for the first time as the cryptocurrency's rally pushes on

May 12, 2021, 20:05 IST
Business Insider
The cryptocurrency ether runs on the Ethereum network.Dado Ruvic/Reuters
  • Ether breached a $500 billion valuation for the first time Wednesday.
  • The milestone comes after ether hit $4,000 for the first time on May 10.
  • Bitcoin, which has a valuation of $1 trillion, broke the $500 billion threshold in December 2020.

Ether breached a valuation of $500 billion for the first time on Wednesday as the rally for the second-largest cryptocurrency continues.

Ethereum's digital token hit $4,357 at around 6 a.m. ET, according to data from CoinMarketCap - a 53% jump in just 12 days since the beginning of the month.

The milestone comes after ether breached $4,000 for the first time on May 10, recording its biggest one-day gain in two years.

Ether is trading higher by 7.8% to $4,272 as of 8:15 a.m. Wednesday.

"Ethereum's monumental success this year is another reminder that digital assets have found a foothold and aren't going anywhere, even in the face of resistance from some," Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex, said in an email.


Some have been more bearish on ether's trajectory. Analysts at JPMorgan led by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou last week said ether should be trading around 75% lower to around $1,000.

"Prices appear to have diverged somewhat from the measures of network activity since the start of the year," the analysts wrote.

They did acknowledge that a number of factors had pushed the price of ether higher in 2021 - particularly growing institutional interest and major network changes.

Bitcoin, which has a valuation of $1 trillion, breached the $500 billion mark for the first time in December 2020.

David Grider, head of digital assets research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, told Insider that the price of ether could reach $10,500 by yearend.


Many analysts have pointed to ether's advanced technological capabilities as a reason to be bullish. Ether's network houses a variety of decentralized finance applications, including non-fungible tokens.

"While no market ever moves in a straight line, I feel assured that ethereum's next major price breakthrough is already within reach, and paired with a continued push for NFTs and decentralized finance, the best is yet to come," María Paula Fernandez, advisor at Golem Network, decentralized marketplace for computing power, told Insider.

Ether is now more valuable than some legacy financial institutions such as JPMorgan and Bank of America.

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