Ethereum Hits $3,000 For The First Time, Now Bigger Than Bank of America

The Ethereum Token (ETH) has surpassed a psychologically significant $3,000 per token today, rising as high as $3,030 on Binance at the time of publication. The price of ETH hit milestones on several major exchanges, including Bybit, Coinbase, and BitMEX.

The surge has helped Ethereum overtake institutions like The Walt Disney Company and Bank of America in terms of total market cap. The world’s largest smart contract-enabled layer one grew 24% in a week to $346.72 billion, according to data from the Marketcap website. In comparison, Bitcoin currently sits at a market cap of $1.079 trillion, just below the precious metal silver’s total market cap of $1.416 trillion and above social media company Facebook at $923.12 billion.

The tremendous spike has even fueled fresh speculation that Ethereum could “drop” Bitcoin, overtaking BTC as the world’s largest digital currency.

Various hurdles share responsibility for Ethereum’s rise. The first is the continued surge in activity across the chain, including from institutional entities: earlier in the week the European Investment Bank announced it would issue a $121 million two-year digital bond in partnership with banking entities such as Goldman Sachs. Retail interest in DeFi has also increased recently, with total value locked hitting an astonishing high of over $100 billion.

However, the “London” hard fork, which includes the EIP-1559 overhaul of Ethereum’s fee structure, as well as ETH 2.0’s looming transition to a proof-of-stake consensus model, may be the main events investors are anticipating. This upgrade to the network is expected to significantly lower costs, as well as reduce the amount of ETH awarded to miners – which in turn is expected to reduce sell-side pressure on the asset.

David Hoffman, host for Ethereum educational media company Bankless, has likened the various initiatives to three separate “halvenings,” an event that occurs roughly every four years in which Bitcoin block subsidies are cut in half. Halvenings are thought to have contributed to Bitcoin’s price appreciation.

However, Ethereum does have some competition in the form of a layer-one chain that supports other smart contracts. Ethereum’s rising popularity is partly to blame for the chain’s exorbitant transaction fees (although fees have eased somewhat in recent weeks), and the absence of a viable layer 2 scaling solution such as rollup means some competing chains have seen a spike in activity.

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