• Ethereum broke its all-time high this week before tumbling alongside Bitcoin on Thursday.
  • The cryptocurrency looks to have plenty of upside according to eToro cryptocurrency analyst Simon Peters.
  • “With upgrades going smoothly, developers continuing to build DApps, and investors taking part in the Ethereum network, my outlook for the cryptoasset is positive,” Peters said.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

As Bitcoin stops to catch its breath, it is Ethereum that is beginning to shine, with analysts expecting big things in 2021.

This week, the second-largest cryptocurrency went on a tear as Bitcoin consolidated, setting a new all-time high at $US1,439 ($1855).

The milestone sees it finally surpass its record high set a little more than three years ago and, even after tumbling alongside Bitcoin on Thursday, catapults its market capitalisation to more than $US153 billion.

It comes after Bitcoin dwarfed its own 2017 record, trading at nearly twice the price it did during the last period of Bitcoin mania, and swelling to a market cap of more than $US650 billion.

Other cryptocurrencies have lagged behind. While the mercurial crypto market has been supported by Bitcoin’s rise, individual coins have largely been unable to keep up with its meteoric rise.

Litecoin, with a transaction time one quarter of Bitcoin and ranking as one of the most traded coins in Australia, for example sits at less than half of its all-time high.

While different digital assets have had distinct experiences, Ethereum looks like one of the few to now be keeping up, outperforming Bitcoin this year by 26%.

Simon Peters, cryptocurrency analyst at eToro, says the potential for Ethereum is vast.

“While Ethereum can fulfil the role of a currency, it is primarily a blockchain platform, where developers can build decentralised applications (DApps) that run on the entire network rather than a group of servers controlled by a single authority or organisation,” he said.

“As a result, the benefits of the Ethereum platform, and therefore the Ethereum token, are wide ranging. It hosts a whole range of services, such as decentralised streaming applications, web browsers, video games, shared computing power services and digital art shops. In addition, it is host to many DeFi – Decentralised Finance – applications.”

The broad use case for the digital asset makes it unique among the myriad of different coins that make up the crypto market.

With that in mind, Peters says this week’s record high “could just be the beginning”.

“With upgrades going smoothly, developers continuing to build DApps, and investors taking part in the Ethereum network, my outlook for the cryptoasset is positive,” Peters said.

“I believe it is very feasible for Ethereum to hit $US2,500 ($3,225) in 2021, as it also benefits from the extended cryptoasset bull run we are currently seeing.”

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