Ethereum (ETH) has given investors reasons to be positive about the upcoming year by reaching a 52-week high of $2,430. This latest surge comes on the heels of a volatile year for the second-largest cryptocurrency, which was not free from the effects of this year’s economic uncertainty.
It was back in April of 2023 when Ethereum first surpassed the $2,000 resistance point before dropping in value again. While the price has increased by around 20% since then, ETH’s value is still considerably lower than its all-time high of $4,878 two years ago.
Crypto prices are higher across the board – and it looks like this rally could go much higher.
What Is Driving Up Ethereum’s Price?
Ethereum’s price surge above $2,400 is directly linked to growing on-chain activity and recent regulatory activity. The network’s daily transaction volume recently hit $3.92 billion, the highest since March of this year and more than 3 times that of October.
This activity is a direct result of Ethereum’s solidified position across the DeFi, NFT, and gaming sectors, which keeps it a popular choice for developers creating their projects. At the same time, BlackRock’s moves toward launching an Ethereum ETF have also fueled bullish speculation that directly translates to the adoption of the network.
With regulators continuing to take action against crypto’s bad actors, institutional trust has also continued to increase over the past year. The fall of Sam Bankman-Fried, “CZ” Zhao, and Alex Mashinsky were all well-received by lawmakers, investors, and major players in the industry. One example is Kraken’s Co-Founder Jesse Powell’s assertion that they could bring a “more fair” ecosystem and clear the industry’s reputation.
What Will 2024 Bring for Ethereum?
With blockchain adoption and regulatory enforcement being likely to continue over the next year, investors believe the currency uptrend will continue in the new year. Crypto Youtuber Lark Davis, for example, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to state his belief that Ethereum’s rise to $10,000 was only a matter of time.
Ethereum is going to $10,000, when not if!
— Lark Davis (@TheCryptoLark) December 28, 2023
Davis predicts that recently launched layer-2 protocols on Ethereum could spur short-term pumps that will maintain the uptrend. Such a move would also mean that if Ethereum were to replicate previous bull cycles, a price as high as $15,000 could be easily attainable.
With the launch of Ethereum’s Dencun Testnet also set to be launched in 2024, the technical capabilities of the network will be significantly increased. This would put Ethereum on a direct collision course with so-called “Ethereum killers” like Avalanche and Solana, both of which had experienced rapid growth thanks to their superior performance and scalability.
Can Solana Truly Kill Ethereum?
Solana’s stunning resurgence poses a renewed threat to Ethereum’s dominance of DeFi, Blockchain gaming, and decentralized applications. The network’s high-speed architecture has powered trading volumes rivaling Ethereum’s top DEX Uniswap, making it increasingly attractive to developers. This resulted in a surge in price of over 900% for the Ethereum killer in only one year, a performance no other top project could match.
Analysts have similarly found that while Solana was able to double its value in December alone, it has been outperformed by projects like Injective and NEAR. This trend suggests that Solana’s surge might be primarily driven by Ethereum’s high gas prices and the virality of its meme coins more than anything else.
With $1.5 billion total value locked, however, Solana still pales against Ethereum’s $29 billion ecosystem. While the hype of the “Ethereum killer” narrative has served server networks like Solana, Avalanche, and Cardano well over the years, it hasn’t been enough. Rather than a true usurper yet, Solana seems to be benefiting from a renewed hype cycle that still needs to translate to increased adoption.
Regardless, most tokens will move higher next year, the only question is by how much.