Ethereum was invented in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin as an ambitious project that seeks to apply blockchain technology to more than just money. Through the use of smart contracts, developers can create and run elaborate systems on the Ethereum network that do much more than move currency from 1 wallet to another. In fact, entire applications have been built on the Ethereum network.
Ethereum’s native currency, Ether (ETH) is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Investors clearly recognize the potential of the network, with ETH up over 350% since the start of 2021. Most notably, the Ethereum network is not yet even in its final form, with more features and improvements still in the works, giving this cryptocurrency lots of potential.
What is ETH?
ETH is the native currency of the Ethereum network. The Ethereum network is a decentralized computing network that is built on the blockchain. Blockchains are public ledgers in which various network users verify all transactions, meaning that transactions cannot be altered or hidden. Ethereum seeks to apply this extreme verification to larger uses than just transferring money.
The Ethereum network features smart contracts, which are immutable due to the blockchain validating them. These contracts execute as designed every single time, free from interference from any third parties or governments. This process has allowed developers to create decentralized applications (dapps) that run on the network. In the same way a computer can run software, Ethereum can run dapps.
To incentivize users to contribute computing power to validate the transactions on the blockchain, Ethereum rewards miners with Ether (ETH). ETH is given to miners for successfully validating new blocks on the blockchain, keeping the ledger intact. ETH is also used to pay gas fees, which are fees for using the network to send currency or run applications.
ETH Market Position
At time of writing, ETH has a market capitalization of over $400 billion, making it the second largest cryptocurrency. Market capitalization represents the price of the token multiplied by the number of tokens in circulation. When looking at the potential for price growth, it is important to look at the market capitalization relative to other currencies to determine the true growth potential of a project.
Particularly for ETH, it is important to use market capitalization to compare the currency to Bitcoin (BTC). BTC Dominance is currently at a low level, meaning that BTC makes up only around 40% of the total value of all cryptocurrency. ETH and the many tokens built upon the Ethereum network are currently outpacing the growth rate of BTC, a bullish sign that indicates investors may see the Ethereum network as more important to the future of cryptocurrency than Bitcoin.
Standard Chartered’s Bull Case for ETH
British-based banking giant Standard Chartered set a price target of $26,000 to $35,000 for ETH. Its team of financial analysts believe that ETH is more similar to a financial market with more use cases than BTC, which they view as solely a currency. However, they note that for ETH to reach $35,000 and overtake BTC as the largest cryptocurrency, BTC would need to trade near $175,000. They add that ETH is a higher risk investment than BTC but could yield a higher reward.
Van Eck’s Bear Case for ETH
Van Eck is a global investment management firm that warns that governments could compete with ETH by creating Central Bank Digital Currencies, backed by government institutions much like fiat money. Van Eck remains bullish on ETH overall but notes that regulation can be one of the few things that can stop ETH’s momentum.
Where to Buy ETH
ETH is a top cryptocurrency and is listed on most major exchanges, such as Coinbase and Gemini. Coinbase has an ongoing program called Coinbase Learn that rewards you with select tokens for participating and answering questions correctly. If you’re investing in crypto for the long run, then Gemini is a great option, too. Gemini lets users earn interest on their cryptocurrency, allowing you to earn steady passive income from your digital assets.
Crypto.com strives to make cryptocurrency a part of everyday life by offering a full suite of services for crypto users. The company offers a Crypto.com App, Exchange, Visa Card, DeFi swap, DeFi Wallet, DeFi Earn, Crypto.com Price, staking, crypto lending, and many other services. What really sets them apart, however, is the combination of super low fees and incredibly generous rewards programs for their users.
- Traders who want access to a secure, low-cost cryptocurrency exchange
- Passive investors who want to earn interest on their balance without frequent trading
- Mobile investors who prefer to handle all their crypto needs via their phone or tablet
- Low fees
- High security
- One-stop shop for all your crypto needs (wallet, trading, spending, and more)
- Lots of ways to earn interest, rewards, and rebates
- Low privacy
- Customer service response time could be improved
eToro, headquartered in Cyprus, England and Israel, has provided forex products and other CFD derivatives to retail clients since 2007. A major eToro plus is its social trading operations, including OpenBook, which allows new clients to copy trade the platform’s best performers. Its social trading features are top notch, but eToro loses points for its lack of tradable currency pairs and underwhelming research and customer service features
- U.S. based cryptocurrency traders
- Social and copy traders
- Simple user interface
- Community engagement and following other traders
- 25 cryptocurrencies
- Expansive network of social trading features
- Large client base for new traders to imitate
- U.S. traders can only buy cryptocurrency
Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that offers investors access to 26 coins and tokens. Founded in the US, Gemini is expanding globally, in particular into Europe and Asia. Offerings include both major cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and smaller altcoins like Orchid and 0x.
Gemini is 1 of the only brokers with multiple platform options based on skill level. New investors will love the streamlined interface of Gemini’s mobile and web apps, while advanced investors might appreciate all the tools that come with ActiveTrader.
In addition to a host of platform choices, Gemini users also have access to insured hot wallets to store tokens without worrying about digital asset theft. Learn more about what Gemini can do for you in our review.
- New investors looking for a simple mobile and web app
- Experienced investors who need a more advanced platform with more tools
- Users looking for a 1-stop-shop to buy, sell and store all of their coins
- Easy and quick signups — can get started in as little as a few minutes
- Multitude of platforms to accommodate traders of all skill levels
- Hot wallets include insurance to protect your from theft and hacking attempts
- Charges both a commission and a convenience fee for users buying and selling through the desktop or mobile app
Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs.
You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.
Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.
- New cryptocurrency traders
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform
- Simple platform is easy to operate
- Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
- Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins
- Higher fees than competitors
Voyager is a leading name in the sphere of cryptocurrency investing, giving you access to over 50 tokens and coins. Buy, sell and swap assets using Voyager Crypto’s simple mobile platform available as a free download for iOS and Android users.
When you invest through Voyager, you’ll pay nothing in commissions, which is a major benefit when compared to other cryptocurrency brokers. Voyager is also one of the only brokers we’ve seen that allows users to earn interest on their crypto investments.
Though the broker could do more to improve its customer service, it’s an excellent option for beginner investors and seasoned professionals alike.
- Cryptocurrency investors looking for a wide selection of supported projects.
- Investors who prefer mobile trading.
- Anyone interested in earning interest on their crypto investments.
- Simple, straightforward and intuitive mobile platform
- Wealth of investment opportunities
- Allows users to earn interest on select crypto investments
- Only available for mobile users — no desktop platform
- Limited routes to contact customer service team
How Long Will it Take for ETH to Reach $10,000?
A $10,000 ETH is possible within the next few years. ETH remains the dominant platform for blockchain applications, but the technology is rather new. As more and more developers learn to use the Ethereum network over the coming years, more dapps will exist on Ethereum, and more users will be drawn to the network.
Additionally, major institutions are beginning to use Ethereum. Traditionally, governments and institutions tend to be slow to adopt new blockchain technology, but the rate of adoption has ramped up over the past year. As more companies realize the potential of Ethereum, the price will be driven up.
A $10,000 ETH is likely to require a further reduction of Bitcoin Dominance. However, Bitcoin remains the best indicator for the health of the cryptocurrency market overall. In essence, ETH needs BTC and the market to climb overall but also needs to eat into BTC’s market share.
Finally, ETH 2.0 is a major set of upgrades to ETH that is set to roll out within the coming year. As ETH transitions from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, several major changes will occur that can drive up the price of ETH.
In August 2021, EIP-1559 passed, meaning that some of the transaction fees on the Ethereum network will be burned. The more the network is used, the more ETH is burned, and the scarcer ETH becomes. If you believe that ETH will be used more in the coming years, this deflationary measure should mean the price of ETH will increase.
The current proof-of-work system hugely increases selling pressure on ETH. Miners have expenses to pay, and they do this by selling the ETH they mine. As ETH moves to proof-of-stake and miners are cut out, this huge dumping of ETH will stop. Additionally, staking rewards users for holding ETH, so the sell pressure will be cut even further.
The transition to ETH 2.0 should also cut fees dramatically, further increasing network use and increasing the amount of ETH that is burned. The rollout of these scalability upgrades looks to be set for 2022.
Where to Store ETH Safely
Check out one of these crypto wallets.
Best Hardware Wallet: Ledger
Hardware wallets store cryptocurrencies offline. The user’s private keys, which are used to authorize transactions, are stored on the Ledger device. This process keeps the keys offline and away from hackers who could access the keys from an online location.
Best Software Wallet: ZenGo
ZenGo is a mobile application that offers a non-custodial wallet to store private keys. In addition to being a wallet, ZenGo allows users to buy cryptocurrencies in the application.
securely through Ledger Hardware Wallet’s
Launched in 2014, Ledger has transformed into a fast-paced, growing company developing infrastructure and security solutions for cryptocurrencies as well as blockchain applications for companies and individuals. Born in Paris, the company has since expanded to more than 130 employees in France and San Francisco.
With 1,500,000 Ledger wallets already sold in 165 countries, the company aims at securing the new disruptive class of crypto assets. Ledger has developed a distinctive operating system called BOLOS, which it integrates to a secure chip for its line of wallets. So far, Ledger takes pride in being the only market player to provide this technology.
- ERC-20 tokens
- All experience levels
- Easy to set up and use
- Supports more than 1,500 different digital assets
- Tamper proof
- Long-lasting battery
- Bluetooth connectivity features
ZenGo is an Israeli company that is out of Tel Aviv. The company provides a secure crypto wallet using next-generation cryptography. You don’t need private keys to access your wallet with their state-of-the-art biometrics to identify you. ZenGo is creating a borderless economy that allows you to effortlessly and safely trade your cryptocurrency assets. The mission is to enable crypto trading and assist in the processing of financial services by addressing the most common crypto challenges. You never have to worry about the security protocols, country, or industry-specific requirements to trade.
- Simple cryptocurrency management
- Making quick purchases
- Next-generation security protocols
- A high quality mobile crypto trading application
- Free Bitcoin and bonuses
- 3FA security features
- The keyless technology can be confusing for crypto beginners
- ZenGo is not available in Hawaii, Connecticut, New Mexico, New York, Cuba, or Panama
Current Crypto Prices
The total cryptocurrency market capitalization sits just over $2 trillion, marking a strong recovery following an early-summer dip. ETH and altcoins continue to take market dominance away from Bitcoin. The ETH transition to proof-of-stake seems to imply a strong future for decentralized finance (DeFi) and a continued long-term timeline of growth.
So, is ETH a Good Investment?
If you believe that smart contracts, DeFi, and dapps are the future, then ETH should remain the frontrunner in those categories. With more and more institutional involvement and scalability upgrades coming, most experts and analysts see a bright future for ETH.
Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank cryptocurrency exchanges and tools. We prioritized platforms based on offerings, pricing and promotions, customer service, mobile app, user experience and benefits, and security. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit see our Cryptocurrency Methodology page.
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