Ethereum has reached a high of just under $70 today, with its market cap surpassing $6 billion while its trading volumes are nearing bitcoin’s.

The currency has been on an up-wards trend since March, rising from $12 to stand at around $65 at the time of writing with its latest movement starting just two days ago, rising from around $50 to near $70.

The reasons for the rise appear numerous as news of new projects keep coming in. There is the Ethereum ETF which is being considered by the SEC, for example. Gnosis, an ethereum based prediction market, raised some $12 million at a $300 valuation.

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Then, Spotify acquired an ethereum based blockchain company Mediachain Labs for better record keeping of royalties. While Vitalik Buterin flatters the Chinese by speaking in their mother tongue with the latest Blockchain Summit now being held in Hangzhou where Buterin is to present.

The rise may also be, at least in part, due to bitcoin. Its market-share has now fallen to around 63%, an all-time low, as in-fighting in the bitcoin community continues regarding scalability with heat turning up yesterday.

News that Bitmain had the ability to shut down 70% of the bitcoin’s hashrate was dramatically announced, with the two bitcoin communities divided in their reception of the news, leading to some more in-fighting.

As is often the case in these events, ethereum usually comes out the winner, with one of its main subreddit, r/ethtrader, surpassing r/bitcoin in online active users for the first time ever, a surprising statistic which may suggest that a shift in attitude and attention may be underway.

Overall, it appears ethereum’s fundamental are sound, with the platform benefiting from increased utility through the addition of new projects, the presence of its inventor, Vitalik, a clear roadmap and a united community.

Still, it is surprising how fast it has grown. From $1 billion at the beginning of the year to now $6 billion, not too far from bitcoin’s current market cap and around the same levels as bitcoin’s market cap last year.

It remains to be seen whether this will continue, but what is becoming very clear is that bitcoin has a serious contender which, if they do not put their house in order and quickly, may actually overtake it to become the leading currency and platform.

That would be a first, one of many firsts for eth, and, undoubtedly an historical event, but how matters will develop only time can tell.

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