Ethereum hits new all-time high, bitcoin inches toward record as cryptocurrencies rally

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  • Ethereum, the world’s second largest digital coin, surged more than 4% in 24 hours on Monday to hit a new all-time high of over $4,700.
  • Bitcoin climbed 7% to reach a price of $66,250, returning to its all-time high of $66,900 set in late October.
  • This comes amid the ongoing excitement around DeFi, or decentralized finance.

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The cryptocurrency is starting the week on a positive note.

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Ether, the world’s second largest digital coin, surged more than 4% in 24 hours on Monday to hit a new all-time high of over $4,700. According to data from Coin Metrics, the coin was last trading at a price of $4,740.

Ether is the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. In the crypto market, the terms ether and ethereum are often interchangeable in the context of currency.

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Meanwhile, bitcoin climbed 7% to a price of $66,250, reaching a record high of $66,900 at the end of October.

The reason for this move was not clear. Cryptocurrencies are known for their volatile price swings, with moves of up to 20% relatively common or low.

Mikel Morch, executive director of crypto hedge fund ARK36, said a price of $70,000 for bitcoin now “appears to be imminent.”

“Importantly, the uptick does not appear to be leverage-driven, but rather a result of increased demand in the spot market, where there is currently little selling,” Morch said in an email note on Monday.

DeFi

This comes amid growing excitement about DeFi, or decentralized finance, a new trend in the crypto market that seeks to build financial applications such as lending and trading on the blockchain.

Ethereum is a major player in DeFi. Some of the largest DeFi services, including decentralized exchange Uniswap and lending platform Aave, operate on the Ethereum network.

Nevertheless, DeFi has recently caught the attention of regulators, with experts warning that action is imminent.

Ethereum is also the backbone for many non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, which are like digital receipts that keep records of ownership of rare items such as art online.

They’ve seen a jump in activity this year, with a token auction at Christie’s sale for a record $69 million.

Still, Ether is up against some fierce competition. Rival tokens such as Solana and Cardano have seen a rise in price this year.

Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum is undergoing a major upgrade, which investors hope will make the network faster and more environmentally friendly.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been criticized for their increasing consumption of energy.

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The latest phase of the overhaul of the Ethereum network came late last month, when an upgrade called Altair went live.

Meanwhile, after the first US bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund listed, bitcoin hit a new high of nearly $67,000 last month.

Crypto bulls praised the move as another sign of the growing acceptance for digital assets on Wall Street.

Alternative digital currencies often rebound after significant increases in the price of bitcoin, as investors seek returns elsewhere in the market.

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