Ethereum – the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the number one competitor to bitcoin – has hit a record high. At the time of writing, the asset is trading for a whopping $4,400 per unit – its greatest price to date.

Ethereum Is At an All-Time High

Ethereum has enjoyed a hectic run throughout the year – almost as hectic as its big daddy bitcoin. While that currency has reached a new high of $66,000 per unit in recent weeks, the currency has dropped somewhat now that the hype surrounding the new Pro Shares ETF has subsided, which means Ethereum is able to step into the spotlight and take over.

The currency initially hit its tallest peak in May of this year when it was trading for just over $4,300. However, the meteoric run has truly been a spectacle for fans and traders all over the world to enjoy considering Ethereum entered 2021 priced at only $383.

But as with bitcoin, Ethereum struck a serious barricade in May after reaching that initial price of more than $4,000. The currency came to a screeching halt, and it wasn’t long before the asset was trading for well under $1,800 – a dip of more than 50 percent.

This is exactly what occurred with bitcoin as well. The currency rose to about $64,000 per unit in April but dropped below the $30,000 mark just a few months later. It was an unholy mess that somehow appears to have been resolved at press time, though it’s unclear if drops like these will occur again soon given the bulbous prices these assets are once again displaying.

Ethereum is a unique asset in that while it doesn’t enjoy the same publicity and size as bitcoin, it currently ranks as the most used cryptocurrency in the world. For many traders, bitcoin is a tradeable asset that has taken on the persona of a hedge tool; something that can keep one’s wealth safe during times of economic strife (and there appears to be a lot of that as of late).

However, Ethereum is completely different in that it is a solid tool for developers to utilize when building new decentralized applications (dapps) and cryptocurrencies. The network supporting Ethereum is allegedly much faster than bitcoin, especially now that ETH 2.0 is being introduced.

The New Proof of Stake Module Is Here!

This is potentially why Ethereum is up so high. Some believe that the answer is in a recent upgrade known as Altair, which went live late last week. This basically hints at the start of the new proof of stake (PoS) module. Altair is designed to serve as the introduction of this new module, which will become fully active in mid-2022. Developer Tim Beiko explained in an interview:

[This] shows we are able to upgrade the PoS mechanism, and that’s a pre-condition to the migration next year.

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