Ether (ETH), the cryptocurrency minted on the Ethereum blockchain, is the second biggest cryptocurrency in market cap, behind Bitcoin. It reached an all-time high on Thursday night, touching $4,400 for the first time. Meanwhile, the current meme-coin craze is also contributing to ETH’s value proposition, with Shiba Inu (SHIB) now consuming more gas than even major stablecoins.
ETH rose to as high as $4,462 on Thursday evening before retracing somewhat to $4,324, though still elevated in the past 24 hours, briefly reaching a cap of the 4,400 mark for the first time ever.
The cryptocurrency’s previous all-time high was $4,379, which it reached in May. Like Bitcoin, Ether had seen its price rise sharply since late 2020, entering 2021 at $383. Also, like Bitcoin, its price crashed in May after Chinese authorities cracked down on cryptocurrency services, including mining.
The new all-time high ($4,416, per Coingecko) came as on-chain data compiled by Kraken Intelligence showed that the number of active Ethereum addresses has grown 5.8% since last month. The growth for Ethereum came as the other smart contract platforms, Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT), saw a decline in the number of active addresses on their platforms of 8.9% and 3.3%, respectively. So Bitcoin (BTC) outperformed them all with a 9.7% growth.
Similarly, the number of transactions made over the Ethereum network also grew since last month, with an increase of 2.3% (the monthly average number of transactions – 1.2 million). That compares to a growth in the number of transactions of just 1.5% for Polkadot and a decline of 9.5% for Cardano. BTC saw an increase of almost 9% (to 272,000 transactions).
Not surprisingly, new highs for ETH also excited investors. Right around the same time as ETH hit its all-time high, the founder & CEO of Real Vision, Raoul Pal, said that he is “more than irresponsibly long ETH right now.”
“I now have leverage but via calls. This is by far and away from the biggest personal position of my entire life by a factor of 10 (or more),” Pal said, adding in his timeframe for when he expects the major moves in ETH to be seen: “My view horizon for this part of the trade is 6 to 9 months.”
However, as CoinShares data showed, last week, ETH saw investment outflows for a 3rd consecutive week. The firm said they believe it “is minor profit-taking as the price closes-in on all-time highs.” At the same time, BTC saw 99% of all inflows totaling $1.45 billion last week after BTC futures ETFs debuted last week in the US.
Meanwhile, it’s also worth noting that the rising price for ETH has coincided with the recent craze surrounding Shiba Inu, Dogecoin (DOGE), and other meme-coins, with the former being an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token.
As a result of this, all transactions made with Ethereum-powered SHIB also contribute to the burning of ETH tokens, which in theory should help push up its price. At press time on Friday, the SHIB token ranked as the 7th largest ETH destroyer, even ahead of the major stablecoin USDC and just below the popular wallet MetaMask’s Swap Router, blockchain data showed.
Token burning on Ethereum was introduced with the ‘London’ upgrade on August 5 this year to make ETH less inflationary than it was before. Since activation, ETH 671,259 ($2.9 billion) have been burned, making up more than half of the new tokens issued over the same period, according to data from WatchtheBurn.com.
Meantime, as reported, the Altair hard fork, the first mainnet upgrade to Ethereum’s beacon chain, went live this past Wednesday. The update is considered a “low stakes warm-up” to the upcoming Merge, when the current Ethereum mainnet, which is secured by a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism, “merges” with the beacon chain proof-of-stake (PoS) system.