Ethereum has gone up some 15% today, reaching an all-time high of around $62, giving it a market cap of nearly $5.5 billion, around 1/4th of bitcoin’s market cap just one year after the platform was launched.
There appears to be a number of reasons for the rise. The Gnosis ICO sale at a $300 million valuation would have undoubtedly brought some attention to the currency. There was a conference in China at Pekin’s University, China’s Harvard, where according to reports Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s inventor, joked in Chinese.
There’s also some news from Spotify, Google and Microsoft exploring concepts or showcasing eth related blockchain demos, adding some further momentum to the currency and positive sentiment.
Then there’s the bitcoin situation which rather than heading towards some sort of resolution seems to instead be getting worse and worse by the day. There, an announcement was made that Bitmain, a bitcoin ASICs manufacturer, could remotely shut-down some 70% of bitcoin’s hashrate.
Bitmain confirmed the news, further apologizing and stating it was a bug due to unfinished code that had been forgotten, but the wider bitcoin community was split in their reaction between the two political camps of small blockers and big blockers.
For the small blockers, they seemingly saw it as an opportunity to push for a Proof of Work (PoW) hardfork. Many would see that as outright chaos, thus perhaps scaring some bitcoin investors to run towards eth.
For the big blockers they seemingly saw it as a coordinated attack with the aim of smearing Bitmain and the wider big block supporting community, with the two camps descending into the usual name-calling.
For those on the sidelines, a look at eth might have seemed like a good idea, which then sort of opens a new world for them. For those who have already left bitcoin for eth, this latest episode probably just re-enforced their decision.
Ethtrader, a reddit sub focused on discussion ethereum’s price, trading and general news, currently has 801 active users online, more than bitcoins main sub which currently has around 760 online users. A clear indication that a shift in focus and attention may be underway.