Cryptocurrency Ether reaches the $3,000 milestone to set a new record high. Ether traded as high as $3,457.64 on the bitstamp exchange, for a session rise of about 17% Early in Asia trade.
Ether, the token transacted on the Ethereum blockchain, is up 325% for the year so far, easily outpacing a 95% rise in the more popular bitcoin.
Bitcoin now accounts for about 46% of total crypto market value, down from roughly 70% at the start of the year, and Ether makes up 15%, according to tracker CoinGecko.
“Ethereum is rising and not much seems to be in its way,” Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corp., wrote in a note Friday, adding that other tokens were also seeing “fresh interest.”
The current distribution of market share also reflects an April shakeout in the cryptocurrency sector. Bitcoin has yet to recover all the ground it lost after tumbling from a mid-April record of almost $64,870.
Last month’s listing of crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc. in the U.S. is the latest sign of how more investors are embracing the sector despite risks from high levels of volatility and expanding regulatory scrutiny.
Ether is currently occupying the limelight. An upgrade of the affiliated Ethereum blockchain as well as the network’s popularity for financial services and crypto collectibles are among the factors cited for the rally.
Illustrating the momentum for such new transactions, the European Investment Bank plans on issuing a digital bond over the Ethereum blockchain, while JP Morgan plans a managed bitcoin fund.