South Korea’s Bithumb has accounted for nearly 15 percent of the Ether trades of the last 24 hours.
This week, the price of Ether, achieved a new all-time high of $415. Ether is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network. And, with the recent surge in price, the market valuation for Ethereum has moved closer to the $40 billion mark.
This is a market cap which is larger than seven of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies in the market combined, with the exception of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. The demand for Ether has been evenly distributed across two key markets in South Korea and the US. South Korea’s Bithumb is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world purely by trading volume.
It has accounted for nearly 15 percent of Ether trades over the past 24 hours. Alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins) tend to follow the price trend of Ether and as the price of Ether surged from around $380 to $415, other Altcoins followed. A huge majority of Altcoins in the market recorded significant gains, these included Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Monero.
CEO at Safello, one of Europe’s largest Bitcoin brokerages and wallet platforms, Frank Schuil, recently revealed that the Ethereum network had been dealing out more transactions every day than the entire cryptocurrency market, including Bitcoin. The Ethereum network on average settles over 544,000 transactions.
This accounts for approximately 52 percent of the cryptocurrency market’s transactions. Bitcoin on average processes 270,000 transactions per day which is around 50 percent of the Ethereum network’s daily transaction volume. The surge in transactions on the Ethereum network began with the execution of the Byzantium hard fork in October.
The founder of Etherplan and highly regarded Ethereum analyst, Donald McIntyre, said that the demand for Ethereum as a settlement network has increased. He said that this is primarily due to an increase in transaction fees of the Bitcoin network.
Fees on the Bitcoin network have significantly declined since October and this can be attributed to SegWit and the restructuring of the global bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash hash rate. Adding to this wallet platforms such as Blockchain and Coinbase recommend a fee of around $0.8 for non-SegWit transactions, which is around 9x more than the recommended fee for Ethereum transactions.
Blockchain, the second largest wallet platform behind Coinbase, recently announced that it intends to integrate SegWit by early 2018. But, until then, it will not be possible for users on non-SegWit wallet platforms to experience nearly 35 percent reduction in fees.
The slow adoption rate of SegWit coupled with network instability of networks like Bitcoin Cash has ultimately led to the increase in demand for Ether. And, as such, Ethereum has begun to settle significantly more transactions than other leading blockchain networks.