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Ether, the world's second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, on Thursday extended a breakaway rally to a new record high of $3,616.10 (roughly Rs. 2,66,400), gathering momentum as investors diverted focus from its main rival.
On the Bitstamp Exchange, Ether was last up about 4.0 percent at $3,568.92 (roughly Rs. 2,62,900). Bitcoin was down 0.3 percent at $57,353.03 (roughly Rs. 42,25,000) and about 11 percent below its record intraday high at $64,895.22 (roughly Rs. 47,80,600) set on April 14.
Ether, the token traded over the Ethereum blockchain, topped $3,000 (roughly Rs. 2,21,000) for the first time on Monday. It is up more than 385 percent this year, compared with 96 percent for Bitcoin.
"Ethereum has been able to maintain its positive momentum, a crushing series of all-time highs in the past week," said Konstantin Anissimov, executive director at cryptocurrency exchange CEX.IO.
"The current all-time high has reignited the ambitious sentiment that Ethereum may eventually flippen (supplant) Bitcoin by market capitalisation in the near future."
Also, a technical adjustment called EIP (Ethereum improvement proposal) 1559, expected to reduce the supply of Ethereum and go live in July, has provided a lift for the digital currency.
Still, there is a speculative frenzy going on in the asset class. Joke cryptocurrency Dogecoin is up by 24,000 percent over the last 12 months and is now the fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.
© Thomson Reuters 2021