Ethereum’s core development team is constantly working to improve and make changes to the native blockchain on which the #2 cryptocurrency is built. This can be observed via the on-chain data available, including the popularity of the native smart contracts.
However, as the bulk of the cryptocurrency market enjoys a period of bullish growth, Ethereum is struggling to entice miners to the network due to break-even prices.
What the on-chain dates can tell us
- Like Bitcoin, active Ethereum addresses (those engaged in transactions within the last 24 hours) have experienced an upturn after 9 months or so of steady decline; this change has coincided with the rise of both cryptocurrencies’ prices.
- Decentralized finance, or DeFi, has proved to be the second biggest use case so far for Ethereum, private fundraising being the first. Growth in the area of DeFi has been at a lull for the last month or so after demonstrating impressive growth rates since September last year, potentially showing it has reached a temporary structural ceiling.
- The aggregate number of smart contract interactions have been on the rise since February, coming close to the all-time highest levels, seen in April 2018. Because the number of new ICOs have been at such low levels for over a year now, it can be assumed that the rising smart contract use demonstrates a strengthening of trust in their utility. Stability in Gas cost also implies the network is moving closer to network capacity.
The Ethereum hash rate negative trend
Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is a Proof-of-Work cryptocurrency, but unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s hash rate has failed to pick up since the favorable market turn. Current market prices have meant Ethereum mining is still unprofitable for many, showing the network has failed to meet equilibrium yet. Compared to Bitcoin, the inflation rate of Ethereum remains high.
The fact that Ethereum will be moving to a Proof-of-Stake system in the near future may also be influencing the lack of miners on the network, although the date of this implementation has already been pushed back once this year.
Ethereum price fluctuations
While Ethereum may not be as bullish right now as Bitcoin or many of the altcoins it has pulled up with it, in the last few days ETH has shown a strong rebound hitting USD 174 before settling around USD 166. Against the USD, Etherum surpassed key levels at USD 169/ USD 179, showing indicators that a climb past USD 180 is viable.
Ethereum is currently +1.25%, trading at USD 173.22; at its peak price in January 2018, Ethereum was trading at USD 1345.07. In December last year, it fell as low as USD 84.00 – a level not experienced since May 2017.
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