Cryptocurrency experts are divided over the long term value and investment possibilities of Ether, which is the digital currency based on the Ethereum platform.
The recent Byzantium hard fork was expected by some to trigger a new price surge. However, this has failed to happen so far. Indeed, Ether currently seems unable to get past the crucial point of $300 (£227).
Of course, just over a month ago Ether looked to be firmly on its way towards the $400 (just over £200) mark. This was partially driven by growing optimism about this currency, particularly in the Asian markets.
In recent weeks, Ether has dropped back below the $300 level and is now struggling to get back over it again. Having said that, this fall has been mirrored across other cryptocurrencies rather just been limited to the Ethereum platform.
Perhaps the factor that has most surprises analysts is that the price didn’t increase following the successful hard fork in early October. This major event was fully expected to cause an upswing both immediately and in the mid-term price prospects of the digital currency.
In addition, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buter went on to say that the hard fork was a complete success and that the network has been stable since it occurred.
The EEA Goes from Strength to Strength
Another factor that caused industry insiders to believe a price increase was on the way was the work being done to strengthen the growing Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, known as EEA. This group has been working hard to develop applications relevant to the Ethereum network, with the participation of some leading financial institutions from around the world.
Interestingly, Ivey Business school professor JP Vergne is among the experts who say that the level of developer activity is one of the very best ways of working out how the price for a cryptocurrency will fluctuate. In this sense, the Ethereum network has been very active lately and much more developer activity is expected.
In recent days, the US has overtaken South Korea as the biggest Ethereum exchange market. American investors now account for 33% of the entire global figure, with South Korea having been the leader throughout 2017 until now.
It is believed that investors in the Asian country now prefer to diversify their currency portfolios, with the likes of Qtum and Zcash making big strides recently to the detriment of both Ether and Bitcoin.
Joseph Lubin is an Ethereum co-founder and he surprisingly said that, “of course it’s a bubble” when asked about the cryptocurrency. However, we went on to explain that this doesn’t automatically mean that it doesn’t still has long-term value and growth potential.
Mr Lubin mentioned that Ethereum is hopefully “one in a series of increasingly larger bubbles”. He pointed out that “bubbles bring attention” and value into the ecosystem, leading to developers who create value and projects to grow the network.
Other reports suggest that, like other digital currencies, Ether is far more volatile than the price of oil or the GBP-USD exchange rate. However, Mr Lubin puts that down to “just a matter of fewer people using them”.