The second-largest digital asset does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
On Monday, Ether (ETH) surpassed $4,000 for the first time, breaking through the psychologically significant barrier on several exchanges, including Coinbase. The latest mark comes just a week after the previous one of $3,000.
Last week, ETH surpassed Bank of America stock as the world’s 28th-largest asset. However, at $454.49 billion today, ETH has now reached the market capitalization of consumer-staples behemoths Wal-Mart and Johnson & Johnson. It is vying for the attention of JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank by assets under management.
Part of the increase may be attributed to increased institutional interest in the asset. According to a CoinShares study published last week, institutions purchased more than $30 million in ETH at the end of April. It is estimated that money managers already own $13.9 billion in ETH or ETH vehicles.
Similarly, there have been major advancements in adoption. The European Investment Bank announced on April 28 that it would issue a $120 million bond on Ethereum, the world’s largest layer-one blockchain, in partnership with major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs. Furthermore, the growth of decentralized finance — one of Ethereum’s core communities and use cases — is accelerating at an astonishing rate.
The most bullish catalysts on the horizon, however, are a pair of big network infrastructure upgrades: EIP-1559 and Ethereum 2.0. EIP-1559, which is now planned to be included in the “London” hard fork, will reform the Ethereum fee structure and is expected to reduce significantly gas costs while also potentially making ETH a more deflationary asset.
In exchange, Eth2 will convert the network to a proof-of-stake consensus model, which is expected to reduce sell pressure and promote asset keeping.
The incredible run has also sparked renewed speculation that a “flippening” — a long-awaited occurrence among the Ethereum group in which ETH overtakes Bitcoin (BTC) in market capitalization — is on the horizon.