Ethereum (ETH) looks nothing like before, entering a true bear market, by returning to the lowest levels since the fall of 2017, with a very small net gain since June 2017, after rising to above $1,300 and crashing to nearly $400. ETH has also lost significantly since its peak BTC prices last summer, down 50% from 0.15 BTC to 0.073 BTC.
ETH is at a curious crossroads, pressured to a low price level, but also being central to the still strong ICO and dApp ecosystem. The Ethereum network, for all its flaws, attracts new projects almost constantly, and is currently hosting some of the first operational dApps. All other networks have fewer projects and dApps, and most run on promises.
ETH recovered slightly to $458.56, down around 11% net this week. In the past quarter, ETH has gone without a net gain, despite the spike above $830. But now, a curious trend is happening, as trading volumes are returning, and ETH trading takes up more than 22% of all crypto trades. Additionally, ETH is seeing an increased influence of Tether (USDT) trading, an asset that previously supported Bitcoin, but moved into altcoins in the past months.
Thus, Ethereum may be the next coin to take up another rising trend, pushing up from the lows. But the coin is also pressured with extremely active selling, increasing the volumes to a three-month record in the past few days.
The Ethereum network is now also faced off with the allegedly better system of EOS. But the comparison has raised criticism that Ethereum is also, in a way, centralized, and the influence of Vitalik Buterin is too significant.
Buterin is still looked up to for providing guidance and the Ethereum project has a centralized and planned timeline to develop into a different kind of digital asset, a staking coin. However, the ETH network so far has worked without a verification layer.
The influence of Vitalik Buterin was felt most significantly after the DAO hack, when a hard fork and a rollback was proposed. Again, during the launch of Ethash ASICs this summer, the Ethereum community suggested a change of mining algorithm to disable the machines – but Vitalik Buterin spoke in favor of preserving the current condition.