The world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, surged over 4% in 24 hours Monday to hit a new all-time high above $4,700. The token was the last trading at a price of $4,740, according to Coin Metrics data. Bitcoin, meanwhile, climbed 7% to a price of $66,250, inching back toward a record high above $66,900 set in late October.
New crypto rally comes on the heals of DeFi.
The new cryptocurrency rally comes amid growing excitement about DeFi, or decentralized finance, a new trend in the crypto market, which seeks to build financial applications like lending and trading on the blockchain. Ethereum is a key player in DeFi. Some of the biggest DeFi services, including decentralized exchange Uniswap and lending platform Aave, run on the Ethereum network. Still, DeFi has caught the attention of regulators lately, and experts have warned a crackdown is imminent.
Ethererum and bitcoin continue to remain bullish.
Ethereum is also the backbone for many non-fungible tokens or NFTs. NFTs are like digital receipts that keep a record of ownership for rare items like online art. Still, ethereum is up against some fierce competition. This year, they have seen a boom in activity, with one token auctioned at Christie’s selling for a record $69 million. Rival tokens like solana and cardano have surged in price this year as well. Ethereum is undergoing a major upgrade which investors hope will make the network faster and more environmentally friendly. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been criticized for their swelling consumption of energy that has led to some hot debate in and outside the crypto community.