Ethereum hits new all-time high of $3,400 as price surges by 350% this year

The cryptocurrency that is linked to the Ethereum blockchain reached the staggering price of $3,456.57 (£2,488) on Tuesday. Ethereum differs from bitcoin as it is not just seen as a store of value and hedge against inflation but also as a burgeoning technology that will act as the foundation for a new global decentralised financial system. The Ethereum network has the ability to create so-called smart contracts that can be automatically executed using code.

The potential of the cryptocurrency is being eyed up by large institutions both public and private.

Even state-backed entities, such as the European Investment Bank, are eager to utilise the new technology.

In April, the European Investment Bank said it issued its first-ever digital bond on a public blockchain using the Ethereum network.

Speaking to Nick Spanos, founder at Bitcoin Centre NYC, said: "Besides transaction fees dropping significantly in the past months fueling increased retail transactions, Ethereum’s surge above $3,000 (£2159) all-time high is also influenced by the anticipation of two key events designed to further lower fees and deflate the coin.

READ MORE: Ethereum price prediction: Could Ethereum reach $3,000?

"Levels above $5,000 (£3599) are now the new target.

"In comparison to Bitcoin, Ethereum has broken off the dominance and is currently outperforming the premier cryptocurrency by 26 percent to 10.69 percent on a week-to-date basis."

Speaking to Justin Chuh, Senior Trader at the regulated digital asset investment manager Wave Financial described DeFi networks such as Ethereum as "booming in general".

He added: "Defi networks have a total value locked breaking $120 billion, (£86.39 billion).

"Most of the action seems to be running on Ethereum.

"Ethereum has at least $70 billion (£50.4 billion) in its decentralized apps.

"Lending and decentralised exchanges are the most popular, having $36.7 billion (£26.42 billion) and $23.9 billion (£17.21 billion) locked in each, respectively."

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