Ether scales to record high, bitcoin trails: Crypto wrap

Ether scales to record high, bitcoin trails: Crypto wrap
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Updated 03 November 2021

Ether scales to record high, bitcoin trails: Crypto wrap

Ether scales to record high, bitcoin trails: Crypto wrap
  • Digital yuan gaining popularity in China

RIYADH: Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, hit an all-time high on Wednesday, catching up with bitcoin’s rally and riding on news of wider blockchain adoption.

The ether token, which underpins the ethereum blockchain network, rose to as high as $4,507 up by 0.65 percent at 5:28 p.m. Riyadh time. 

In the days since bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, hit its record high of $67,016.5 on Oct. 20, other tokens on the base layer of blockchain networks, known as Layer 1 networks, have gathered momentum.

“The correlation of crypto versus equities and risk-on sentiments is high,” said Danny Chong, chief executive officer of decentralized asset tracking platform Tranchess, who expects further gains over the quarter.

“Everyone is expecting a bull run with the absence of negative news,” said Chong. “To decide the depth of the move, one should ask what can bring it down?”

Bitcoin was trading around $63,078 and is up about 117 percent this year, while ether is up six-fold.

Growing adoption

The steady stream of news on cryptocurrency adoption by banks, growth of non-fungible tokens on virtual gaming platforms, launch of bitcoin futures-based U.S. ETFs and a need among investors for diversification in an uncertain interest rate environment have pushed several blockchain tokens, including bitcoin and ether, higher since October.

Smaller tokens, too, have seen rising interest after Facebook Inc. rebranded itself into Meta to focus on building the “metaverse,” a shared virtual environment.

Australia’s largest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, said on Wednesday it will become the country’s first to offer retail clients crypto services.

Digital yuan

About 140 million people had opened wallets for China’s new digital yuan as of October and used it for transactions totaling around 62 billion yuan ($9.7 billion), a senior Chinese central bank official said on Wednesday.

However, Mu Changchun, the director general of the Digital Currency Institute of the People’s Bank of China, told Hong Kong’s Fintech Week conference there was no official launch date for the digital currency, also known as the e-CNY.

So far 1.55 million merchants could accept payments using e-CNY wallets, including utilities, catering services, transportation, retail and government services, Mu said.

AI-powered platform

Coinbase, the largest US cryptocurrency exchange is acquiring AI-powered support platform Agara in a bid to provide world-class support for customers..

The exchange explained that through this acquisition, they will be able to provide their customers with new personalized, intelligent, and real-time support options.

The acquisition also reconfirms Coinbase’s strategy to build out its tech hub in India.