It’s time to buy a fire suit, because ETH is super hot.
As Ether makes headlines surging past its previous high, other less flashy metrics are also near records, signaling the Ethereum network is strengthening not just in price.
ETH hit a new all-time high of $1439.33, topping the previous record of $1432.88 reached during the height of the crypto boom in mid-January 2018. The current ETH market cap is $162.3B, compared with $131.8B during the 2018 peak.
“At the end of last year, it was announced that 100,000 ETH was already locked in the Ethereum 2.0 Deposit Contract. This large amount of locked funds, plus increased demand from major financial institutions looking to get into blockchain, has created increased demand on a macro level,” says Kadan Stadelmann, CTO of open source technology workshop Komodo.
Meanwhile, wallet addresses, number of daily transactions, transaction volume and ETH trading volume are all surging \. The ETH to BTC ratio is lower than in the 2017-2018 bubble, but to some traders, that may very well be bullish too.
There are 133.6M unique Ethereum addresses, up from 22.4M in Jan. 2018 according to data on Etherscan.
To be sure, the rate of new wallets created on a daily basis has decreased, with roughly 151k new addresses a day now, compared to 250k a day during the previous high. Also, one person can have multiple addresses, some have been long forgotten, and some are automatically created by trading bots.
Daily Transactions and Value Transacted
The number of daily transactions just climbed above the 2018 record at 1.26M on a seven-day average, according to CoinMetrics data.
The amount of value transacted on Ethereum also surged past the previous high at just under $8B, or about $1B higher than the previous peak.
All this activity is causing average gas prices higher. In 2018, 1.3M daily transactions resulted in average gas prices around 22 Gwei. Today, 1.2M transactions are costing an average of 50 to 75 Gwei—over double the price.
Even if these costs are the result of increasingly complex apps and projects running on Ethereum, doubling the transaction fees over a three year period points to a scaling issue that Layer 2 and Eth-2 needs to solve quickly.
Meanwhile, while ETH continues to outpace BTC’s growth in 2021 (ETH has gained 92%, while BTC has only gained 27%), some data trends suggest a more complex story.
Putting ETH’s price in terms of BTC, Bitcoin was trading at $13.2k during Ethereum’s 2018 high. This means that 1 ETH equaled a little over 0.1 BTC at peak. Now, with ETH at a new ATH, BTC is trading at $36.5k. This puts ETH at a current value under 0.04 BTC, proportionally much lower than in 2018.
That doesn’t mean that ETH won’t ever catch up to BTC. And some enthusiasts will take the difference as a sign that there;s more room for ETH to rally.
“To a mainstream audience, Ethereum has always been the lesser known cousin to Bitcoin,” says Samantha Yap, Founder and CEO at fintech PR agency YAP Global. “However this time around we are seeing more media awareness and understanding about what Ethereum is and we hope that this continues throughout 2021 as the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) industry grows and gradually gets adopted.”