Bitcoin and ethereum have both surged in recent weeks, with the ethereum price this week hitting a fresh all-time high amid a battle for memecoin dominance.
The bitcoin price has struggled this week, falling back after soaring to never-before-seen highs of around $67,000 per bitcoin earlier this month.
Now, a panel of 50 bitcoin, ethereum and cryptocurrency experts has predicted the ethereum price could top $5,000 per ether before the end of 2021—and rocket to over $50,000 by 2030.
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“Ethereum does a better job of supporting development on its blockchain and will have a more lightweight proof-of-stake mining model than bitcoin [which] means that it can potentially be the backbone of web 3.0,” said Daniel Polotsky, the founder of crypto ATM operator CoinFlip and panel member, who predicts ethereum’s growth may even surpass bitcoin’s over the next decade.
Web 3.0, the idea that a decentralized version of the internet will eventually replace the Silicon Valley-centric web 2.0, has been popularized in recent years, helped by the growth of the crypto and blockchain economy that some think could form its basis.
Late last year, ethereum began its long-awaited shift from bitcoin’s proof-of-work security and validation model to proof-of-stake—something many developers hope will make ethereum more efficient and less energy demanding. However, it’s not yet known how such a shift, not expected to be completed until well into 2022, could affect scalability or profitability for miners—those that secure ethereum’s blockchain.
The panel of bitcoin, ethereum and cryptocurrency experts, put together by personal finance comparison site Finder, returned an average ethereum price prediction of $5,114 by the end of 2021—up around 20% from its current $4,350—to $15,364 by 2025 and then more than tripling to $50,788 by the end of 2030.
The ethereum price is already up by 1,000% on this time last year, leaving bitcoin and many other major cryptocurrencies in the dust. Ethereum’s market capitalization has now surpassed $500 billion for the first time.
Ethereum’s huge rally has been helped by the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi), which uses crypto technology and ethereum’s blockchain to recreate traditional financial services without the need for banks, and the non-fungible token (NFT) craze that has seen all manner of digital media and assets tokenized largely on ethereum’s blockchain.
“Ethereum is currently hosting an already large but still quickly growing alternative financial system in decentralized finance or DeFi,” said panelist Joshua Fraser, the cofounder of peer-to-peer platform Origin Protocol.
“Eventually, ethereum will be one of the main financial settlement layers of the world. The ethereum price will reflect this future reality.”
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However, a number of ethereum rivals have sprung up over the last year, including cardano, solana, Binance’s BNB and polkadot. Some of Finder’s panelists expect these challengers to win DeFi and NFT market share from the ethereum blockchain.
Some 13% of panelists predicted solana will eventually overtake ethereum as the primary DeFi platform.
“[Ethereum] was not built for high throughput, and developers know that, whereas other layer-1 solutions such as solana are,” said CoreLedger AG chief executive Johannes Schweifer, who thinks ethereum will lose as much as 66% of its market share in the coming year as it struggles to solve its scalability issues.
“The market will expand rapidly with their maturity and they will get the lion’s share of all new business that is not exclusively based on speculation,” Schweifer added.