Ether, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency, hit an all-time high on Wednesday, catching up with bitcoin's rally and riding on news of wider blockchain adoption.
The Ether token, which underpins the Ethereum blockchain network, rose to as high as $4,643 (roughly Rs. 3.45 lakh) in Asian hours, breaching the previous day's $4,600 (roughly Rs. 3.42 lakh) and taking the week's gains to more than 10 percent. Ethereum price in India stood at Rs. 3.62 lakh as of 1:30pm IST on November 3.
In the days since Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, hit its record high of $67,016.5 (roughly Rs. 49 lakh) on October 20, other tokens on the base layer of blockchain networks, known as Layer 1 networks, have gathered momentum. Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 49.7 lakh as of 1:30pm IST on November 3.
Bitcoin (BTC) was trading around $63,078 (roughly Rs. 47 lakh) and is up about 117 percent this year, while ether is up six-fold.
"Since the market reversal at the end of September, ether's strength has been moving in stride with BTC and other majors," said Ryan Rabaglia, managing director and global head of trading at digital asset platform OSL.
"Ethereum has been the clear winner of the Layer-1s for what we believe will be a substantial shift in a potentially prolonged market sentiment uplift. Ethereum will also continue to play a major role in the NFT and metaverse ecosystem build out," he said.
The steady stream of news on cryptocurrency adoption by banks, growth of non-fungible tokens on virtual gaming platforms, launch Bitcoin futures-based US ETFs and a need among investors for diversification in an uncertain interest rate environment have pushed several blockchain tokens, including Bitcoin and Ether, higher since October.
Smaller tokens too have seen rising interest after Facebook rebranded itself into Meta to focus on building the "metaverse", a shared virtual environment.
Australia's largest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said on Wednesday it will become the country's first to offer retail clients crypto services.
According to digital assets researcher CryptoCompare, assets under management (AUM) in digital investment products rose 45.5 percent in October to a record high of $74.7 billion (roughly Rs. 5,56,685 crore). The total AUM for Bitcoin-based products grew 52.2 percent to $55.2 billion (roughly Rs. 4,11,310 crore), while Ethereum-based funds AUM increased 30 percent to $15.9 billion (roughly Rs. 1,18,475 crore), record highs for both categories.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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