Ether Leaves Bitcoin Behind With 2020 Gain of Over 100%

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Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, has more than doubled in value this year, leaving bitcoin, the crypto market leader, far behind. 

  • Ether is trading near $275 at press time, representing a nearly 114% gain on a year-to-date (YTD) basis, according to CoinDesk’s Ether Price Index. 
  • The cryptocurrency clocked a five-month high of $289 on Thursday despite increased exchange inflows.
  • Ether’s YTD rise is over three times bigger than bitcoin’s 34% 2020 rally.
  • bitcoin, the top cryptocurrency by market value, is currently trading around $9,550.
  • Jehan Chu, co-founder and managing partner at Hong Kong-based trading firm Kenetic told CoinDesk that ether’s price is surging on increased general interest and the network’s popularity in the decentralized finance space. 
  • Ethereum’s median transaction fee recently rose to its highest level since August 2018 due to a surge in transaction activity.
  • Additional buying pressure for ether looks to be stemming from the excitement surrounding the impending transition from the proof-of-work mechanism (aka mining) to proof-of-stake in the network’s next big upgrade, dubbed Ethereum 2.0.
  • Staking would allow investors to earn additional yield simply by holding ether to support the operations on the blockchain. 
  • Glassnode data shows the number of addresses holding 32 ETH – the minimum balance needed to become a validator on Ethereum 2.0 – has increased by more than 12% this year, suggesting increased investor interest in the novel form of income.
  • While bitcoin was expected to print solid gains following the May 12 miner reward halving event, the cryptocurrency has remained largely stuck in a range between $9,000 and $10,000.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency at the time of writing.

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CoinDesk is the leading digital media, events and information services company for the crypto asset and blockchain technology community. Its mandate is to inform, educate and connect the global community as the authoritative daily news provider dedicated to chronicling the space. Founded in May 2013, CoinDesk reaches millions interested in blockchain technology thru its website, social media, newsletters, podcasts and video. CoinDesk created the original reference rate known as the Bitcoin Price Index which is widely sourced in the media including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, CNBC and many others on a daily basis.

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