Ether surged above $4,000 on Monday hitting a new record high, at $4,158.61 at around 10 AM GMT. As of writing, Ethereum is at $4,129.66, an upwards change of 7.65% past 24 hours.
Ether has a total market cap of $478.25 billion, less than half of Bitcoin’s $1.1 trillion. Bitcoin’s currently at $57,561.71 with a growth rate of 0.13% past 24 hours.
Ethereum had been in Bitcoin’s shadow since its initial years. However, The second most popular cryptocurrency has seen tremendous gains in the aspect due to the increasingly popular trend known as ‘decentralized finance’ or ‘DeFi’. DeFi aims to recreate traditional financial products with blockchain technology, the distributed computer system that underpins many cryptocurrencies. Ethereum is currently the base of this concept.
Ethereum is also benefitting from the rise of NFTs (Non-fungible tokens). These digital assets are designed to represent ownership of unique virtual items like arts and sports memorabilia. Many of the wildly popular NFTs like CryptoKitties and CryptoPunks run on Ethereum.
However, such a tremendous rise in activity has led to congestion issues resulting in very expensive gas fees. Ethereum blockchain hasn’t been able to scale its operations according to the growth in demand. To keep up with the increasing growth in the future, Ethereum is currently undergoing an upgrade, an ambitious one. This will allow for faster transaction time and a reduction in the power required to process transactions.