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

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Representation of Ethereum cryptocurrency is seen in this illustration photo taken in Sulkowice, Poland on August 12, 2021.

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto | Getty Images

Cryptocurrencies are starting the week on a positive note.

Ethereum, the world’s second-largest digital coin, surged more than 4% in 24 hours Monday to hit a new all-time high above $4,700. The token was last trading at a price of $4,740, according to Coin Metrics data.

Bitcoin, meanwhile, climbed 7% to a price of $66,250, inching back toward a record high above $66,900 set in late October.

The reason for the move wasn’t clear. Cryptocurrencies are known for their volatile price swings, with moves of up to 20% higher or lower relatively common.

Mikkel Morch, executive director at crypto hedge fund ARK36, said a $70,000 price for bitcoin now “seems imminent.”

“Importantly, the uptick doesn’t seem to be leverage-driven but rather results from the increased demand on the spot market where there’s currently very little sell-side liquidity,” Morch said in an emailed note Monday.

DeFi

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

Ethereum is a key player in DeFi. Some of the biggest DeFi services, including decentralized exchange Uniswap and lending platform Aave, run on the Ethereum network.

Still, DeFi has caught the attention of regulators lately, and experts have warned a crackdown is imminent.

Ethereum is also the backbone for many nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which are like digital receipts that keep a record of ownership for rare items like online art.

They have seen a boom in activity this year, with one token auctioned at Christie’s selling for a record $69 million.

Still, ethereum is up against some fierce competition. Rival tokens like solana and cardano have surged in price this year.

Ethereum 2.0

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