Ethereum Price Today • Live Data • Benzinga

Many investors choose Ethereum as an easily accessible blockchain development platform that has secured its spot as the most actively used blockchain network. Understanding how Ethereum has made itself the prominent backbone of the altcoin market is essential to understanding its value and future potential. 

Ethereum Price Movements

Ethereum‘s native coin Ether (ETH) price, like lots of cryptocurrencies, can be volatile at times taking swings of over 50% in a single day. Many will misinterpret ETH’s price volatility as a sign of danger to Ethereum’s future. 

Ethereum is a software platform that hosts decentralized applications (dApps), smart contracts and stores data. These functions can host virtually a limitless array of different programs. This includes financial, semi-financial and nonfinancial functions that Ethereum’s development community continues to expand upon every day. 

These applications all use what is referred to as gas fees to secure their spots on the Ethereum network. These network fees are taken in Ether, which is why the price of ETH is much more complex than just a community of buyers. These gas fees entangle the price of ETH with a world of other decentralized functions hosted on the Ethereum network. 

This article breaks down the fundamentals of Ethereum’s decentralized blockchain platform and how its technology will affect the price of Ethereum.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum should be thought about as a platform first and foremost. Ethereum, like any other platform such as YouTube, Facebook or Spotify, is a space where creators develop projects that are uploaded, hosted and stored by these services. The Ethereum platform allows developers to create decentralized applications that will enable users to conduct various financial transactions without the need for traditional intermediaries such as banks.

Unlike Ethereum, the typical online platforms today are usually managed and controlled by a single company. That platform is subject to and centralized around that company as they are entitled to privacy and relative control over their communities. 

Centralization leaves creators and those communities at the mercy of often frustrating and misleading corporate oversight. For instance, YouTube has faced a lot of pressure from the public and its advertisers to moderate its community to be a safer and more family-friendly environment. Many YouTube creators have criticized the company for its moderation being what they consider excessive censorship in response to these restrictions. 

On the other side of this problem, Facebook has been in an array of legal trouble for its misuse of user information and privacy. These are unacceptable problems when it comes to exchanging valuable data like your money. 

Ethereum’s decentralized platform can securely facilitate transactions of any kind without the need to trust a private intermediary. The modularity, transparency and reliability of the Ethereum network make its platform important to its developers and investors alike.

History of Ethereum

The history of Ethereum has set precedents that investors should consider when thinking about the future of the network. Ethereum was initially proposed in 2013 by programmer Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin who was 19 years old. He saw Bitcoin as just the start of how blockchain technology could be implemented. 

To improve upon Bitcoin’s technology, Buterin created the object-oriented programming language Solidity for writing smart contracts on the Ethereum network. The development of Ethereum was crowdfunded in 2014, and it eventually went live in 2015 with an initial supply of 72 million tokens. 

MolochDAO Hack

In 2016, Ethereum lost a lot of its market cap and public trust after one of its decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) was hacked for more than $60 million of stolen Ether. This incident raised uncertainty for Ethereum and plunged Ether’s price to below $13 per coin. The plunge was still higher than Ether’s initial coin offering (ICO) of $2.77 per coin but potentially a fatal mishap that could have destroyed any vision for Ethereum’s future. After proposals to find a solution, the nodes reached a consensus to reverse the hacked token transactions and keep a separate network without any changes called Ethereum Classic. 

The decision to change protocol is where the Turing-complete aspect of Ethereum allows changes to Ethereum through a decentralized Ethereum node consensus. To keep the network decentralized, proposals are made by nodes other than nodes ran by the Ethereum foundation.

Once the proposal is passed and the specifications are locked, the updates are externally produced and implemented. Ethereum’s network modularity is significant for investors to pay attention to, as it allows Ethereum to progress with the needs of its market. This protocol for network development is the most decentralized solution on the market for a progressive network.

DeFi on Ethereum

Currently, one of the most groundbreaking applications on the Ethereum network is the decentralized finance (DeFi) market. DeFi enables anyone to use Ethereum for financial transactions and services. Implementing financial instruments on the open-source blockchain of Ethereum comes with many desirable advantages. 

Financial instruments like settlements of stocks and bonds through banks use a lot of human capital, creating efficiency issues and time-consuming problems. On top of this, banks usually hold your money for you and require a level of trust that they will fulfill agreed-upon terms. DeFi relies on a system of verification instead of trust through its open-source blockchain ledger. 

The open-to-read code is the only thing processing your money, which is typically a lot faster than the traditional banking system. On top of this, investors can always have full ownership of their crypto. The potential for decentralized finance is only beginning to be explored. DeFi has the potential to restructure the forthcoming world of finance.

Ethereum Price Movements

Recently the ETH market has experienced dramatic swings that have many ether owners concerned. The price has soared from around $700 at the beginning of 2021 to hitting an all-time high of $4,362 on May 12. On May 15, the price went down about 40% to approximately $2,500 where it has remained over the past 2 weeks. 

In analyzing Ethereum’s price movement, a couple of factors should be taken into account.

The DeFi and non-fungible token (NFT) markets boom is a massive accomplishment for public acceptance of valuable functions on the Ethereum network and a big reason for the jump in price.

Before recent news and media coverage, most people didn’t know what decentralized finance or a non-fungible token even meant. However, after many decentralized applications started to prove themselves successful and profitable, these concepts surrounding Ethereum projects began to pick up more media coverage. This media coverage brought herds of new investors into the world of crypto and made these projects even more profitable.

The snowball effect of media coverage along with the volatility of margin trading has taken the Ether market on an undeniably wild ride. This being said, Ethereum is still in its early stages and, unlike Bitcoin, was made to be continuously upgraded. These new projects and concepts that the public is just beginning to understand is just that, the beginning. 

Best Exchanges for Ethereum

Ethereum’s native token Ether (ETH) is a great coin to buy for introducing your portfolio to crypto. The easiest way to buy Ether is through a cryptocurrency exchange. You’ll save time and money by choosing an exchange that gives you the ability to buy, sell and hold Ether in the same application. These exchanges are very similar to investing through a stockbroker.

You’ll be able to buy and sell through your exchange, which will execute the orders on your behalf. Some of the best exchanges that support Ether tokens are Coinbase, Robinhood or Gemini. You will set up an account with an email and personal information to verify your identity on these exchanges. 

After your account is created and verified, you’ll need to fund your account; this can typically be done with a direct bank transfer. Select exchanges like Coinbase and eToro also allow the use of funding with credit cards.  

Best For

Intermediate Traders and Investors

Commissions

$0

Account Min

$0

1 Minute Review

Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.

Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.

Best For
  • Active traders
  • Intermediate traders
  • Advanced traders
Pros
  • Commission-free trading in over 5,000 different stocks and ETFs
  • No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
  • No charges to open and maintain an account
  • Leverage of 4:1 on margin trades made the same day and leverage of 2:1 on trades held overnight
  • Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
Cons
  • Does not support trading in mutual funds, bonds or OTC stocks

Commissions

Depends on security and leverage

Account Min

$50 for US and Australia; $200 everywhere else

1 Minute Review

eToro, headquartered in Cyprus, England and Israel, has provided forex products and other CFD derivatives to retail clients since 2007. A major eToro plus is its social trading operations, including OpenBook, which allows new clients to copy trade the platform’s best performers. Its social trading features are top notch, but eToro loses points for its lack of tradable currency pairs and underwhelming research and customer service features

Best For
  • U.S.-based cryptocurrency traders
  • Social and copy traders
  • Simple user interface
  • Community engagement and following other traders
Pros
  • Expansive network of social trading features
  • Large client base for new traders to imitate
Cons
  • U.S. traders can only buy cryptocurrency
  • Only 15 cryptocurrency pairs available

Commissions

Account Min

$0

1 Minute Review

Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs. 

You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.

Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.

Best For
  • New cryptocurrency traders
  • Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
  • Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform
Pros
  • Simple platform is easy to operate
  • Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
  • Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins
Cons
  • Higher fees than competitors

Commissions

. 25% or less

Account Min

0.00001 BTC

1 Minute Review

Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange and custodian that offers investors access to 26 coins and tokens. Founded in the US, Gemini is expanding globally, in particular into Europe and Asia. Offerings include both major cryptocurrency projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and smaller altcoins like Orchid and 0x.

Gemini is 1 of the only brokers with multiple platform options based on skill level. New investors will love the streamlined interface of Gemini’s mobile and web apps, while advanced investors might appreciate all the tools that come with ActiveTrader. 

In addition to a host of platform choices, Gemini users also have access to insured hot wallets to store tokens without worrying about digital asset theft. Learn more about what Gemini can do for you in our review.

Best For
  • New investors looking for a simple mobile and web app
  • Experienced investors who need a more advanced platform with more tools
  • Users looking for a 1-stop-shop to buy, sell and store all of their coins
Pros
  • Easy and quick signups — can get started in as little as a few minutes
  • Multitude of platforms to accommodate traders of all skill levels
  • Hot wallets include insurance to protect your from theft and hacking attempts
Cons
  • Charges both a commission and a convenience fee for users buying and selling through the desktop or mobile app

1 Minute Review

Robinhood is the broker for traders who want a simple, easy-to-understand layout without all the bells and whistles other brokers offer. Though its trading options and account types are limited, even an absolute beginner can quickly master Robinhood’s intuitive and streamlined platform. On the other hand, more advanced traders might be frustrated by Robinhood’s lack of technical analysis tools, a feature that’s now nearly universal across other platforms.

Best For
  • Beginner traders
  • Mobile traders
Pros
  • Streamlined, easy-to-understand interface
  • Mobile app with full capabilities
  • Can buy and sell cryptocurrency
Cons
  • Almost no trading analysis tools available
  • Only taxable brokerage accounts available
  • No option to open a retirement account
  • No access to mutual funds, forex or futures trading
  • Limited customer service

Is ETH a Good Investment in 2021?

Ethereum has a lot to look forward to in the coming year. The network plans to implement its 1st major network upgrade from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake network with the upcoming release of Ethereum 2.0 later this year. This was always the plan for Ethereum, as a proof-of-work network like Bitcoin has scalability problems and excessive environmental impact. The switch to Ethereum 2.0 will lower gas fees for all transactions making it even more enticing for developers. 

This is where the upcoming Ether market is going to see a lot of changes in the coming year. Staking Ether on Ethereum 2.0 will catch the eye of many new investors looking for a long-term place in the crypto market. This could create a lot of price movement in the year to come and hopefully facilitate market stability in the future.

Does the Ethereum network have competitors?

1

Does the Ethereum network have competitors?

asked

Sean Carraway

1

Yes, there are many similar blockchain networks like the Binance Smart Chain that are very similar to Ethereum. Ethereum stands out because it was the first Turing-complete decentralized blockchain software platform that most of the crypto development community is accustomed to using. On top of that, Ethereum’s devotion to transparency and decentralization has gained trust within the crypto community.

answered

Benzinga

Can the Ethereum network be hacked?

1

Can the Ethereum network be hacked?

asked

Sean Carraway

1

Yes, in theory, if one entity owns 51% of the Ethereum blockchain network, that entity could validate fraudulent transactions. However, this is extremely unlikely and probably would be fought against like the early DAO hack if even remotely possible.

Things susceptible to hacks and fraudulent behavior are poorly coded smart contracts and scammers. This is why it’s essential to research and investigate projects before investing. It is usually easy for other crypto developers to spot scams and bad contracts because everything on its blockchain is on its public ledger.  

answered

Benzinga

Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank cryptocurrency exchanges and tools. We prioritized platforms based on offerings, pricing and promotions, customer service, mobile app, user experience and benefits, and security. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit see our Cryptocurrency Methodology page.

Gemini builds crypto products to help you buy, sell, and store your bitcoin and cryptocurrency. You can buy bitcoin and crypto instantly and access all the tools you need to understand the crypto market and start investing, all through one clear, attractive interface. Gemini Crypto Platform offers excellent account management options. You can manage your account at a glance, view your account balance 24-hour changes and percent changes. Get started with Gemini now.