Ether, the digital gas of the Ethereum network, had a strong weekend as the cryptocurrency’s price rose more than 13 percent between Friday and Sunday.

In that span, ETH temporarily spiked up from $162 USD to $185. The uptrend has been sustained in the interim, as the coin entered Monday hovering around $180.

The momentum brings ether’s short-term return on investment (ROI) further into the green; the second-largest crypto by market capitalization is now up 26 percent on the week, up 32 percent on the month, and up 20 percent over the past three months.

Ethereum Privacy

ETH is still down 54 percent from its price one year ago, while it’s up more than 1,700 percent since 2016. The coin’s all-time high was $1,431 in January 2018.

Of course, fears linger in the space that the cryptoeconomy bear market that began biting last year has further stamina yet. But it’s becoming harder to argue the page hasn’t turned the longer that top coins like ether maintain positive short-term ROIs.

The other top 10 cryptocurrencies have fared well entering the new week, too. Bitcoin (BTC) entered Monday still holding ground above the $5,200 price point, while Bitcoin Cash (BCH) slightly contracted but maintained its position over $300. Several other popular cryptos like litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB), and Cardano’s ADA experienced slight price contractions.

The maintaining of these levels comes after bitcoin led crypto markets up last week after the genesis crypto shot up from $4,100 to above $5,000 in one day.

That surge, reportedly sparked by several coordinated orders for 1,000s of bitcoin each, has acutely boosted optimism and awareness around cryptocurrencies, which has in turn seemingly spawned a reflexive dynamic that’s led to further buy pressure in the space.

It remains to be seen whether this reflexivity will actualize the next prolonged crypto bull market or sputter out after gaining some initial momentum. But there hasn’t been much sputtering over the past 90 days for top coins like bitcoin and ether, so the bull case is steadily building.

Ethereum Positioned Well in DeFi Rat Race

Many projects are gunning to facilitate and optimize decentralized finance, or DeFi. Projects like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and Tezos are but a few examples of prominent contenders who have taken to the arena.

Yet when it comes to taking stock of the current field, Ethereum has gained a considerable head start early into the cryptoeconomy’s life, as the platform currently underpins nine out of the 10 top decentralized finance projects per the DeFi Pulse tracker web site.

The present DeFi standings. Image via DeFi Pulse

More than $400 million dollars’ worth of ether are locked among the top three of those projects, namely crypto lending plays Maker and Compound and the increasingly popular decentralized exchange Uniswap. Bitcoin’s proposed second-layer scaling solution, the Lightning Network, presently comes in at fourth in having more than $5.6 million bitcoin locked into its payment channels.

The future of DeFi is far from settled, to be sure, and new projects like Cosmos and Polkadot are arriving all the while. But Ethereum-based projects are certainly seizing the day while things are still early on, and that dynamic may bode well for ETH in the next crypto market cycle accordingly.

Eyeing the Future

After successfully enacting its Constantinople upgrade earlier this year, the Ethereum blockchain is set for its Istanbul upgrade next, which could see the ASIC-resistant ProgPoW consensus model go live.

Further off is the Serenity “ETH 2.0” upgrade that will see Ethereum deploy a trio of scaling solutions in sharding, Plasma, and Casper. ETH 2.0 teams are already well at work in tinkering with staking in Ethereum.

In the mean time, the biggest question in the blockchain’s community will center around how long it will take for Serenity to be activated. At the moment, that’s an open question — but it won’t always be one.

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Posted by William M. Peaster

William M. Peaster is an editor and cryptocurrency writer. He is not a financial adviser. He enjoys covering both the promise and warts of the emerging cryptoeconomy. Follow him on Twitter: @WPeaster

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