Following a string of new all-time highs last week, the price of ether has returned to a tighter trading range to begin the week.
The price of ether, which powers the smart contract-based blockchain ethereum, reached an all-time high of $55.11 on 17th March, nearly 100% higher than its price of roughly $28 on 14th March, according to CoinMarketCap.
Yet, since then, its price has changed direction, falling more than 40% to $31.70 the following day and then rallying nearly 50% to $47 yesterday.
According to analysts, the boost has been largely driven by the growing fears that the bitcoin network could split into two separate blockchains, resulting in two different bitcoin tokens that would be independently traded.
"This is not really about ethereum, which has had little news recently," cryptocurrency fund manager Jacob Eliosoff told CoinDesk.
"It's all about the bitcoin train wreck, and the growing awareness among investors about ether as an alternative."
Eliosoff was not the only market observer to point to bitcoin’s challenges.
Vinny Lingham, an investor and entrepreneur, stated that "concern over a hard fork" in bitcoin is one factor that has led to an increase in ether prices.
Yet, not everyone believes that ether is winning all of the funds exiting bitcoin's more bearish market.
Harry Yeh, managing partner of investment firm Binary Financial, spoke to the relationship between bitcoin and ether, noting that the latter asset may be winning funds from traders who would otherwise withdraw into the US dollar or other fiat currencies in times of uncertainty.
"When bitcoin bounced, there was a lot more ether selling and bitcoin buying," Yeh said, though he said most money is exiting the crypto market to more traditional assets.
Martin Garcia, vice president of Genesis Trading, emphasized that ether's lack of liquidity could have very easily fueled the digital currency's recent volatility.
He told CoinDesk that:
"You have very little liquidity so the price fluctuations tend be severe."
Crushed can image via Shutterstock
Jiang Zhuoer: BTC.Top Will Support the Camp Favored by a Majority of Hash Power in the Bitcoin Cash Hash War
Jiang Zhuo’er and his BTC.TOP , a major Chinese mining pool, will not take side in the upcoming Bitcoin Cash’s hash war between two competing camps, Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV. Zhuo’er shared h
F2Pool Will Support the Mining of BCHABC and BCHSV after Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork
F2Pool, the sixth largest bitcoin mining pool in the world, announced on Tuesday that it will allow miners to mine both coins generated from the upcoming Bitcoin Cash hard fork after the chain split
IBM Says Blockchain Can Power 'Open Scientific Research' in New Patent Filing
A patent application published Thursday claims the process of conducting scientific research can benefit from the blockchain.
Led by a team at IBM's Watson Research Center, the patent application p
CFTC Fines Bitcoin Trader $1.1 Million for Crypto Fraud
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has jailed a bitcoin trader and fined him over $1 million for running a fraudulent bitcoin and litecoin scheme.
According to a press release iss
Japanese Firms Claim Success in Marine Insurance Blockchain Trial
One of Japan's largest insurance companies, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, and IT firm NTT DATA have completed a trial that put the paperwork for marine cargo insurance claims on a blockchain.
Accenture Puts Software License Management on a Blockchain Platform
Global professional services giant Accenture has rolled out a new software license management application built with tech from distributed ledger startup Digital Asset.
Accenture announced in a pre
Singapore's Central Bank, SGX Develop Blockchain Settlement System
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the country's stock exchange, Singapore Exchange (SGX), have developed a settlement system for tokenized assets that can work across different blockchains
Colorado Regulators Crack Down on Four More ICOs
Colorado regulators took action against four ICOs Thursday, bringing the state's total number of cease-and-desist orders against crypto startups to 12.
The state's "ICO Task Force" rebuked Bitcoin