What does the second half of 2021 hold for Ether?

Summary

  • A panel of cryptocurrency experts predicted this week that Ethereum’s price might hit US$4,600 by year-end. This would be nearly double the price as of 29 July 2021, which sits at approximately US$2,319.
  • Coinbase reported Ether rallied 210% in H1 2021, outperforming gold (-6%) and the S&P 500, which gained 14%.
  • Ethereum is set to move to a proof-of-stake network later this year, which will result in Ether becoming deflationary. This, in turn, will make Ether a better store of value compared to Bitcoin.

Historically, Ether has played the second fiddle to Bitcoin as being the world’s premier crypto. Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market cap, preceded Ethereum by around six years having been created in 2009 in response to the disillusionment brought about by the previous year’s global financial meltdown.

As such, Bitcoin has largely been synonymous with cryptocurrency, almost like Kleenex is synonymous with tissues. Recently, however, Ethereum has been closing the gap on Bitcoin. Moreover, some have predicted that Ethereum’s price may double by the end of 2021.

Ethereum closing the gap on Bitcoin

In the first half of 2021 ether, Ethereum’s native token grew three times faster than Bitcoin, according to Coinbase’s half-yearly review.

Moreover, Coinbase reported Ether rallied 210% over the first half of 2021, outperforming gold which fell 6%, and the S&P 500 (+14%).

INTERESTING READ: Bitcoin vs Ethereum: Their journeys so far

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The future of Ether

This week, a panel of 42 senior cryptocurrency specialists, put together by personal finance comparison site Finder, gathered to discuss the future of cryptocurrency.

It was that same expert panel that predicted Ethereum’s price might hit US$4,600 by year’s end. This would be a doubling of its price as of 29 July 2021, which sits at approximately US$2,319.

One panel member, Daniel Polotsky who founded CoinFlip, said that Ethereum’s price might grow faster than Bitcoin.

The panel further projected Ethereum could reach US$17,810 by 2025 and cross the US$71k by 2030. Over two-thirds of the panel predicted Ethereum would eventually surpass Bitcoin.

Ether’s trading volume in the first half of 2021 rose a staggering 1,461% from US$92 billion to US$1.4 trillion.

Comparatively, in the same period, Bitcoin’s trading volume rose to US$2.1 trillion – a rise of 489%, according to Coinbase.

DO READ: Ether vs Ethereum: What is the difference?

Ethereum’s move to proof-of-stake

Ethereum is set to move to a proof-of-stake network later this year, which will result in Ether becoming deflationary. This will, in turn, make Ether a better store of value compared to that of Bitcoin.

Ethereum currently uses a proof-of-work model that requires Ether miners to solve complex mathematical problems to release a coin.

This mining method uses a great deal of energy and has been criticised for its harmful impact on the environment.

Earlier in the year, Tesla’s Chief Executive, Elon Musk, brought the crypto community’s attention to crypto mining methods when he announced the electric vehicle company would cease accepting Bitcoin for their vehicles. Musk reasoned at the time that Bitcoin’s mining methods were too hazardous to the environment.

The University of Cambridge later reported that the energy consumed by Bitcoin miners equalled that of small countries, like Egypt.

The proof-of-stake method differs from proof-of-work in that to mine the coin, users must simply have financial ownership of the coin to mine it. POS is a less energy-consuming method than POW and thus is much more environmentally friendly.

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Ethereum’s bullish outlook for 2021

Some panel members, including the head of blockchain at fantasy football marketplace RealFevr, Pedro Febrero, predicted Ethereum’s price might hit US$10,000 by year’s end. They added Ethereum could potentially power the future of the world’s financial infrastructure.

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Other panellists were less optimistic, however, saying that Ethereum is currently experiencing a speculative bubble.

John Hawkins, a senior lecturer at the University of Canberra, predicts Ethereum would hit US$1,200 by year’s end.

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