The price of Ethereum (ETH) is expected to be at US$5,114 by the end of this year, according to the average of forecasts collected from a panel of 50 finance and crypto experts surveyed for Finder’s most recent Ethereum Price Predictions Report.
Ethereum’s Ether — the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value after Bitcoin — is currently trading at $4,223 as of publishing time, close to its all-time high of US$4,361.18 on Oct. 21, according to CoinGecko data.
What’s driving Ethereum’s growth?
The survey of experts by Finder — a data and analysis firm headquartered in Sydney — was conducted from Sept. 24 to Oct. 11 this year. Panelists are allowed to own cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum. According to Finder, the published results came from a truncated mean, with the outlier responses in the top 10% and bottom 10% removed.
One of Finder’s panelists for this survey was Daniel Polotsky, founder and chief advisor of CoinFlip, a U.S.-based Bitcoin ATM network. Polotsky told Finder that he expected Ethereum to end the year at US$4,500 and that Ethereum’s growth could even surpass that of Bitcoin’s. “Ethereum does a better job of supporting development on its blockchain and will have a more lightweight proof-of-stake mining model than Bitcoin [which] means that it can potentially be the backbone of Web 3.0.”
“Ethereum is currently hosting an already large but still quickly growing alternative financial system in decentralized finance or DeFi,” Origin Protocol co-founder Joshua Fraser told Finder. “Eventually Ethereum will be one of the main financial settlement layers of the world. ETH price will reflect this future reality.”
Is Ethereum’s market share under threat?
While rival blockchains such as Binance Smart Chain, Cardano, Polkadot, and Solana have emerged, the vast majority of DeFi protocols and stable coins operate on the Ethereum network, and Ethereum still dominates with over US$60 billion of total value locked (TVL) in DeFi protocols, according to DeFi Llama.
“Ethereum has the advantage of being the first mover, which is the reason why almost 80% of applications are built on Ethereum’s network, according to State of the DApps,” Iwa Salami, associate professor at the University of East London, told Finder. Salami predicted that Ethereum would
“Thus far, cheaper and faster blockchains (like Solana and Avalanche) are still not threatening competitors to Ethereum in this respect, which means Ethereum is likely to maintain its dominant position for some time to come.”
Amid the explosive growth of DeFi and NFTs, scalability has been a key issue for Ethereum as the applications and number of users continue to grow.
Work is underway to make Ethereum more scalable, secure, and sustainable with the Eth2 upgrades taking place progressively. The Beacon Chain upgrade, implemented in December, marked the first of the Eth2 upgrades and brought staking to the Ethereum ecosystem. But Ethereum creator Vitalk Buterin, at a conference in Shanghai this week, also said that a full Ethereum 2.0 rollout could take years.
“The Merge” — Ethereum mainnet’s merge with the Beacon Chain’s proof-of-stake system — will mark the end of a proof-of-work Ethereum and is scheduled to take place in 2022. Sharding, a multi-phase upgrade to improve Ethereum’s scalability and capacity through the use of shard chains to spread the network’s load across 64 new chains, will follow in 2022, after The Merge.
Altair, the first mainnet upgrade to the Beacon Chain, has been scheduled for epoch number 74,240 on Oct. 27, 2021, at 10:56:23 a.m. UTC. An epoch is the main time-measurement unit in Eth2. Each epoch is a period of 32 slots and corresponds to approximately 6.4 minutes.
“This upgrade brings light-client support to the core consensus, cleans up beacon state incentive accounting, fixes some issues with validator incentives, and steps up the punitive params as per EIP-2982,” according to an Ethereum Foundation blog post.
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