It has obviously been the bloodiest first half of the year for the cryptocurrency market. While there have been a few spikes here and there, the market has generally been on a prolonged decline since early February.
One of the most affected token is Ethereum, the second largest by market capitalisation. At $462 a unit, Ethereum is just about a third its value in January. Compare that to a very positive 2017 when it gained 5700%.
So is it still worth buying ethereum in 2018? First, it is important to look at some of the factors that propelled Ethereum in 2017.
We probably remember 2017 as the year of the ICO. Hundreds of blockchain projects, some genuine and some not so genuine were launched. Most of these were on the back of ethereum. That is because Ethereum has a focus for decentralised apps on their platform.
With more regulatory scrutiny the scene has since changed significantly with far reaching ramifications for the industry.
Firms shorting Ethereum
Opinion is currently divided on which direction Ethereum will take in the next few coming months. Hedge funds are betting for and against ethereum is almost equal measure. One of them is Tetras Capital which began shorting Ethereum in May when its price dropped even lower. According to the firm, the prospects for Ethereum look bleak and they predict it will continue to take a beating.
Hidden Capital which has more than $100 million in cryptoassets under management is also shorting Ethereum. There are several other prominent firms which have taken a short position.
The promising side
But it is not all gloomy – many more investors are seeing the brighter side of Ethereum and are willing to bet for the coin. One of these Foley and Lardner, a group of investors which places Ethereum well above even the more established bitcoin in terms of prospects.
It is also important to point out that there is a solid development team behind Ethereum. This is very important as it ensures that it remains innovative in the long term. This is not to forget that Ethereum has very strong underlying technology powering it.
Then there is the strong institutional backing from Microsoft, Intel, JP Morgan who formed the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance together with several other top companies including banks and technology companies. The association now has more than 200 members.
The smart contract functionality is particularly attractive and companies are beginning to seriously explore it. In short, ethereum is much more than a digital currency.
Buying Ether is therefore to invest in one of the most promising blockchain platforms out there. For one, Ethereum uses a Turing complete language, which means it can run any algorithm. This offers limitless possibilities especially for companies.
The Ethereum smart contracts and Ethereum virtual machine which executes smarts contracts could significantly speed up business processes for instance.
Compare this to bitcoin whose implementation of blockchain as at its most basic. Ethereum is still nowhere near payment processors like Visa when it comes to processing transactions. However, it is still significantly faster at 12 seconds compared to bitcoin’s 20 minutes.
While bitcoin presents some threat to the financial system, Ethereum is on the other hand finding favour among banks. Some banks like Bank of America have already developed applications that safeguard customers’ information – by allowing private access.
Aspects like these could significantly speed up adoption. It is worth noting that such large companies can easily thrust such new technologies into the mainstream much more easily.
It is also notable that companies are flocking to Ethereum, a coin which has a more recent history than say bitcoin which has been around for close to 10 years now. If you disregard the short term price fluctuations, it is very easy to see a very solid long term potential with Ethereum.
All speculation aside, Ethereum remains a solid technology. If you are wondering how to buy Ethereum uk, Coinbase the top cryptocurrency exchange is one place to consider. Almost any other exchange of note lists Ethereum. Be sure to check out for flexible payment methods like PayPal.