Ethereum, a rival cryptocurrency to bitcoin, surpassed the $1,000 mark in trading on Thursday (Jan. 4) for the first time ever.
The digital currency hit a new all-time high of $1,045.08 around 10:05 A.M. ET, according to news from CNBC, citing CoinDesk. Currently, Ethereum is the third-largest cryptocurrency.
Last week, Ripple’s XRP passed Ethereum to become the second-largest cryptocurrency. The surge in price followed comments by Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin in a blog post, where he stated the non-profit foundation responsible for the blockchain network was debuting two new programs to further research of the distributed ledger.
“The Ethereum Foundation has started issuing grants to help it scale,” Charles Hayter, CEO of CryptoCompare, told CNBC in an email. “This network effect will galvanize the community and help Ethereum to throw off its growing pains.”
The surge in Ethereum comes as the value of bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, is on the decline. With bitcoin accounting for about a third of the market, investors could be setting their sights on its digital currency rivals. “All the alternative cryptocurrencies are having a healthy run into the new year, as traders reallocate and jump from hot theme to theme,” Hayter told CNBC.
Buterin’s latest blog comes a few days after he sent out a warning via Twitter, saying he believes cryptocurrency is heading in the wrong direction. Buterin, 23, complained on Twitter about the immaturity of communities across the cryptocurrency market, saying they need to understand the difference between enacting positive change for society and simply moving money around.
“*All* crypto communities, including Ethereum, should heed these words of warning,” he wrote. “Need to differentiate between getting hundreds of billions of dollars in digital paper wealth sloshing around and actually achieving something meaningful for society.”
Buterin went on to explain that many in the community are wasting energy creating memes about luxury cars and inappropriate jokes and threatened to abandon the space if things don’t improve.