Bitcoin’s price soared past $67,700 at one point, breaking a previous high established in late October, while ether, the native unit of the Ethereum blockchain, topped $4,800 for the first time. On Monday evening, bitcoin and ether reached fresh all-time highs.
These new highs are part of a larger rally in the cryptocurrency market. Solana and Cardano, the so-called “ethereum killers,” are up 23% and 9% in the previous seven days, respectively.
On Monday, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which debuted in October and follows bitcoin futures contracts related to the cryptocurrency’s future price, was up more than 8%.
While it’s impossible to link short-term price swings to a single event – and cryptocurrency price charts are notoriously volatile – some analysts believe bitcoin and ether will continue to rise in the coming weeks.
Mikkel Morch, managing director of crypto hedge firm ARK36, stated in a note sent on Monday that a $70,000 price for bitcoin now “looks imminent.”
Others are more optimistic about bitcoin’s future, with JPMorgan recently reiterating its estimate that it will eventually reach $146,000, with a shorter-term price goal of $73,000 for this year.
Bitcoin will receive its greatest upgrade in four years next week.
Taproot is the name of the software upgrade. It will result in increased transaction privacy and efficiency – and, more importantly, it will enable smart contracts, which are a major component of its blockchain technology.
Meanwhile, with the implementation of Altair, a network update that went live in late October, ether has been on the rise.
Except for validators, who are people who check transactions on the Ethereum network, Altair was mostly seen as a non-event. However, the upgrade was a critical step toward deploying ethereum 2.0, also known as Eth2, which has been in the works for years and will completely redesign the network.
The network would move from the energy-intensive “proof-of-work” mining method, in which miners solve difficult math equations to create new coins, to “proof-of-stake,” in which users just use their existing ether cache to verify transactions and manufacture new tokens.
Eth2 attempts to improve ethereum’s scalability, security, and long-term viability. This shift will have far-reaching implications not only for ethereum but also for the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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