Ethereum is the brain child of Vitalik Buterin. He proposed the idea in 2013 and, through crowdfunding, released the project in 2014. Since then, it has gone on to become one of the most hyped cryptocurrencies and is currently the second biggest cryptocurrency by marketcap behind Bitcoin.
Ethereum’s development has not been without controversy though and, like every other cryptocurrency, the Ethereum price history is one of great highs and dramatic lows.
The beginning of Ethereum
On release, Ethereum began trading at $2.80 but soon found itself in a trading range of less than $1. It would remain so during 2015 as all cryptocurrencies suffered through a prolonged bear market. In 2016, the markets began to pick up and the Ethereum price steadily rose before shooting up to above $13.
From there it would trade between $8-$14 before a major event in the history of Ethereum highlighted issues with the platform.
The DAO hack
In 2016, the Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) was created. This was a set of smart contracts built on top of the Ethereum network. The DAO managed to raised $150 million from a crowdsale, with many prominent members of the Ethereum community contributing.
Disaster struck the DAO though when a hacker was able to exploit a weakness in the code and steal $50 million. The hack led to much heated debate in the Ethereum community on how to solve the issue. In the end, the decision was taken to hard-fork Ethereum, thereby reversing the transactions to return the lost funds.
The fork did not have full consensus, leadingto the creation of Ethereum Classic which carried on with the original chain. The hard-fork is still a contentious issue to this day with many questioning Ethereum’s immutability as a result.
The DAO hack was always going to have a negative effect on the price of Ethereum. After reaching a high of $20, the cryptocurrency crashed down to $12 before continuing to slide further – bottoming at around $6.30. Despite this, fortunes were soon to change towards the end of 2016 and on into 2017.
The bull run of 2017
Some may argue that Ethereum served as the catalyst for the bull run of 2017, bringing the whole market up with it as its price soared. Ethereum started 2017 at a price of $8.23 and would go on to end the year at $742. A monumental rise.
During this period there was another craze taking hold. The ICO era. Initial coin offerings began to appear everywhere. ICOs were simple ways to make money without having to rely on accredited investors. The Ethereum platform became the ICO platform in 2017. Most ICOs took place through Ethereum with tokens being generated at the end.
If people wanted to participate in an ICO, then they would need to purchase Ethereum first. This cycle saw huge price rises in Ethereum and Bitcoin, dragging the whole cryptocurrency market upwards towards prices never seen before.
The quality of many of these ICO projects was poor and a bubble in the whole market was created. Since then, many ICOs have gone bankrupt with people losing their money. Legal questions were also raised with many of the ICO projects appearing like securities but the S.E.C has been slow to catch up.
2018 to the present
The sustainability of the 2017 price rise was unlikely to ever last and, after reaching an all time high of $1,432 in January 2018, Ethereum crashed back down to earth.
Despite the large loss in price, Ethereum has clung onto its second spot by marketcap, being replaced every now and again by XRP.
Ethereum price history conclusion
The Ethereum price history is similar to most other cryptocurrencies. A huge rise followed by a dramatic crash. What makes Ethereum more interesting price wise than other cryptocurrencies is that it was one of the reasons for why so much money flooded into the cryptocurrency industry.
Ethereum is much more ambitious in its overall aims than most. Aiming to disrupt numerous industries through it’s smart-contract platform there have been hurdles along the way. Like any other cryptocurrency, there are many detractors claiming that Ethereum cannot scale and will never work. Despite this, development on the platform continues and there remains a lot of hope.