Ethereum has risen from a slightly under $1 billion market cap to now more than $4 billion, surpassing $5 billion at one point yesterday. Its price has increased 10x from the December bottom, rising to a high of $57, before settling around $45.
The currency has attracted considerable interest from household brands, including Microsoft, Intel, JP Morgan and others, who announced Enterprise Ethereum last month. Sparking a bull run.
It gained further momentum after the Securities and Exchanges Commission rejected the bitcoin ETF with price accelerating further after tensions between Bitcoin Unlimited and Bitcoin Core increased recently.
That appears to have led towards diversification or a complete switch by some bitcoin users, with the eth community coining a new term, the flippening, a point when eth’s market cap overtakes bitcoin’s.
Some businesses seem to have flipped too, including Bloq, a new startup by former Bitcoin Core developer Jeff Garzik whose commit rights were removed from the client without any public discussion despite being one of the first bitcoin developers. His start-up has now joined Enterprise Ethereum.
The currency’s trading volumes have also increased considerably, surpassing bitcoin’s dollar volumes on Poloniex, the biggest altcoin exchange. Moreover, 50% of its trade is now against the dollar, with the currency seemingly de-coupling from bitcoin, something that would be a first in this space.
As bitcoin fees continue to increase, now standing at above $2 for next block confirmation, priced out businesses and users may be looking for an alternative, with ethereum the preferred choice.
Some, therefore, suggest it may surpass bitcoin’s market cap as it offers almost free and almost instant transactions, a promise long made by bitcoin which no longer holds true at the present.
Following the announcement by some of bitcoin’s biggest exchanges that in the event of a fork they would list Bitcoin Core as BTC regardless of the hashrate or, presumably, price, such situation in bitcoin may continue, with a resolution to the stalemate seemingly unlikely.
Fees, therefore, may increase further, with attitudes in some corners already changing to considering bitcoin as an old, expensive and slow tech. Out of the alternatives, eth stands to gain the most as the second biggest digital currency.
Beyond just transactions, Ethereum brings to life codable money through smart contracts, allowing for many projects with a wide range from social networks to supply chains to gaming.
For plain transactions, it has plans for as good as unlimited scalability, thus gaining the interest of many in the Bitcoin Unlimited side who see no end to bitcoin’s scalability debate.