Ethereum, or ether for short, hit a new record high Saturday of just over $2,900. Ether prices have nearly quadrupled in 2021, soaring 290%. Bitcoin has had a great run too this year, doubling in value.
The total value of all Ethereum in circulation is now about $333 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin’s (XBT) market value is nearly $1.1 trillion.
While there are thousands of cryptocurrencies — including the Elon Musk tweet-fueled Dogecoin — Bitcoin and ether account for nearly two-thirds of the entire $2.2 trillion global crypto market.
Bitcoin has soared this year in part due to increased adoption from corporate America. Musk’s Tesla (TSLA) and software firm MicroStrategy (MSTR) have bought bitcoin to hold on their balance sheets. Digital payments giants Square (SQ) and PayPal (PYPL) are letting users buy, sell and hold crypto, too.
But Ethereum has enjoyed an even bigger surge than Bitcoin because it is the cryptocurrency of choice for the purchases of many non-fungible tokens, or NFTs — which have taken the art and broader collectibles world by storm.