Ethereum, long considered as the No 2 cryptocurrency in terms of price and market cap has finally broken the $1000 barrier for good and is now trading above that price consistently. The price of ether has been steadily growing since November and grew by 143.57% since just last month.
Unlike Bitcoin, which is a decentralized currency and mostly used as a store of value at the moment, Ethereum is a decentralized platform involving smart contracts and “ether”, the currency developed using Ethereum processes more transactions than Bitcoin. While ether or Ethereum is the digital currency built on top of the Ethereum platform, it allows developers to build more applications involving smart contracts.
One famous blockchain application which went viral recently is, CryptoKitties. It allows you to collect and breed digital cats on the blockchain. This has caused a lot of congestion on the ethereum network slowing down the processing of the cash transactions. The founder of the Ethereum, Vitalik, recently outlined a plan to improve the speed of the transactions by introducing a couple of subsidy programs.
This price rise has come at a time when Ethereum lost the No 2 title in market cap to the new alt currency Ripple. Cryptocurrency Analysts feel that though some altcoins like Ripple, Tron have been rising in the past month, the investors will switch back to the more trusted and technology focussed decentralized solutions and that this may drive up the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, Ripple is a centralized service run by the fin-tech company, Ripple Labs. Its main use case is for the large banks and international money transfer services, which will use the XRP token to use it for international transfers. The price of the ripple grew by over 200% in the last 2 weeks but is now stabilizing little above $3. It still is the 2nd largest cryptocurrency by market cap.