Why did Ether price reach $3.5K, and what’s next?

The next few months promise to be exhilarating and decisive for Ether (ETH), as its recent all-time highs above $3,500 put an even bigger spotlight on the cryptocurrency and its smart contract blockchain, Ethereum.

As the cryptocurrency markets continue to grow five months into 2021, both the preeminent Bitcoin (BTC) and a host of other blockchain projects and tokens have soared in value, chief among them being Ether. The second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization has enjoyed a buoyant fortnight that has seen it rise to new heights.

Indeed, ETH went on a late-April surge, backed by several key factors that have led to a rapid price appreciation across cryptocurrency markets. The booming decentralized finance sector coupled with the burgeoning nonfungible token, or NFT, space have been attributed as major reasons for ETH’s price boom, as these technologies are mostly based on the Ethereum blockchain. However, the importance of the recently implemented Berlin upgrade and bullish ETH options traders has helped push the price of the network’s token even higher.

The booming price of ETH has also led to renewed talk of a fabled ETH–BTC “flippening,” which would see Ether overtake Bitcoin as the most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization. While that is still a long way off, as Ether’s $411-billion market cap is worth just 39% of Bitcoin’s $1.06-trillion market cap, ETH is increasingly catching up.

This is evident in the sheer amount of capital that is being poured into Ether by investors. CoinShares recently estimated that institutional investment managers and firms hold around $13.9 billion in ETH, with $30 million worth of ETH purchased in the last week of April and around $170 million bought over the past calendar month.

The question on the minds of cryptocurrency traders, “hodlers,” Ethereum proponents, DeFi and NFT users, and the wider community is fairly obvious: What lies in store for ETH over the next few months, and can the…

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