Cryptocurrency pricing data can help investors find opportunities in the market and make more informed investment decisions. NextAdvisor’s price tracker shows historical price, trading volume, market capitalization, and other important metrics for investors, especially those who are just starting to dip their toes into crypto investing.
While everyday investors probably don’t need every last bell and whistle to make informed investment decisions, there are some generally applicable key crypto metrics and indicators worth considering:
Price: As with any investment, price is where it starts and ends for investors. Pricing is highly volatile in cryptocurrency, but viewed over time can give investors an idea of how a given coin’s value has gone up (or down) over time.
Market Capitalization: In general, the higher the value of the market cap the safer the investment. Market cap is the total value of a cryptocurrency, and is calculated by multiplying the price of the cryptocurrency with the number of coins in circulation. The amount of tokens or coins circulating can be viewed as an indicator of a coin’s demand.
Volume: Higher volume typically means a given cryptocurrency has more market liquidity, meaning more ability for investors to sell an investment when they want to realize a profit. It represents how much crypto is bought and sold over a period of time, typically 24 hours.
Ethereum revolutionized the cryptocurrency landscape when it launched in 2015.
Instead of creating value as a “digital gold” like Bitcoin, Ethereum became the second-biggest cryptocurrency by operating as a software platform that runs on a blockchain. Developers use the network to build and power new tools, apps, and NFTs.
These apps are all powered by smart contracts, or programs that run autonomously on the Ethereum blockchain. Smart contracts perform all the functions that normally some third-party would have to take care of.
“It’s driving its value from a different point,” says Kiana Danial, author of “Cryptocurrency Investing For Dummies” and an investing expert. “Ethereum is valuable because of the problem that it solves, because of the size of its platform, and the number of people who use it to create their own apps.”
Users can interact with the platform using Ether, the network’s cryptocurrency — or buy and hold it as a store of value. Ethereum is commonly used by developers, but there are people who also invest in the crypto for its potential to increase in value over time.
Ether has skyrocketed in value since its creation. Launched in 2015 by computer programmer Vitalik Buterin, Ether has increased in price from $0.311 at its 2015 launch to around $4,800 at its highest late last year — with plenty of volatility along the way.
Ethereum’s price picked up pace halfway through the week, climbing back up past $3,100 Wednesday after briefly falling down below $3,000 earlier in the week.
Ether has been extremely volatile over the last few weeks as anticipation builds for its massive software upgrade. Investors and developers are calling it “The Merge,” and it’s expected to happen over the next few months, though a few recent developments suggest “The Merge” won’t happen in June as previously forecast.
“It won’t be June, but likely in the few months after. No firm date yet, but we’re definitely in the final chapter of PoW on Ethereum,” Ethereum developer Tim Beiko tweeted on April 11.
Ethereum will move from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, changing how transactions on Ethereum are ordered, which will make it more efficient and sustainable for widespread use. But until that happens, experts are waiting to see how investors and companies building their tech on Ethereum’s platform respond to the changes.
Experts say the crypto market is also reflecting heightened volatility that comes with the ongoing war in Ukraine. Ethereum has bounced up and down in recent weeks, following an immediate drop below $2,400 on Feb. 23 after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine.
Experts also point to other factors like the crypto market tracking the stock market, more mainstream adoption, and slumping prices in recent months as contributing to what we’re seeing with crypto prices right now.
Even before the war in Ukraine, the volatility for Ethereum came amid continued surging inflation and ongoing indications of changing monetary policy by the Federal Reserve to counteract inflation. Government officials have also continued to show an interest in more crypto regulation and even the possibility of creating a government-issued digital currency. Bitcoin’s price has had a similarly rough stretch lately.
All this has made for a shaky start to the year for Ethereum, which in January dropped below $2,200 — the lowest Ethereum’s price had been since July 2021.
“Like all risk assets, crypto prices this year have been disproportionately driven by the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the outlook on Fed Policy (particularly the taper schedule),” says Ben McMillan, CIO at IDX Digital Assets, a digital asset management firm . “So while we’re seeing crypto prices at relatively attractive prices on a longer-term outlook, there could still be considerable downside in the near-term.”
Ethereum’s price has been between $2,800 and $3,200 so far this week. Here’s how its current price compares to its daily high point over the last few months:
After topping $4,100 on Dec. 27, Ethereum has ranged between $2,100 and $4,000 in the days since. Despite the slow start to 2022, many experts are still bullish, predicting Ethereum’s price could potentially hit and exceed $12,000 this year.
Despite the recent volatility, Ethereum still had a relatively strong close to 2021. Ethereum set a new all-time high when it went over $4,850 on Nov. 10, and it carried that strength into December before falling back by the end of the month. Even with the late slump, Ethereum closed the year way over where it was at the start: In January 2021, Ethereum’s price was just a little over $1,000.
Ethereum could grow in value by as much as 400% in 2022, potentially breaking the $4,000 mark, according to experts.
Because Ethereum is so new and volatile, price predictions are mostly informed speculations. Experts say ETH’s price will be even more volatile than Bitcoin in the coming months, mainly because Ethereum is upgrading to a less energy intensive version that insiders colloquially refer to as “the Merge.” Ethereum’s upgrades could make it more appealing and sustainable for widespread use, but experts are waiting to see how investors and companies respond to the changes.
Given these factors, conservative predictions of Ether say it will reach at least $4,000 by 2022, but more bullish crypto enthusiasts say it could go as high as nearly $13,000 if Ethereum’s upcoming transition is successful.
“I believe Ethereum can go to $8,000,” Ian Balina, investor and founder of crypto research and media company Token Metrics, told NextAdvisor. “Ethereum is the clear leader but other blockchains are onboarding new users at a faster pace due to Ethereum’s high gas fees and low transaction speed.”
The future of cryptocurrency is sure to include plenty more volatility in the price of Ethereum, and experts’ advice for long-term investors remains the same: invest only what you’re OK with losing and ignore the ups and downs.
That’s particularly true after Ether’s explosive growth in 2021, primarily driven by the rise of NFTs and decentralized finance (DeFi). Both of those markets soared in value and created a significant amount of buzz, which is why it’s even more important to stay the course, and not let the hype of certain NFT or DeFi investments drive your investment decisions. There are already signs that NFTs may have peaked in popularity, with sales dipping noticeably in recent months. For example, the average sale of an NFT in March was around $2,000, down from over $6,000 in January, according to NFT market tracker NonFungible.
Similar to how you would invest in Bitcoin, investing in Ethereum means buying and holding the token Ether with a hope that it will increase in value over time. Because there’s no guarantee that any crypto’s value will increase, experts advise to never invest more than 5% of your portfolio in cryptocurrency. Never invest at the risk of not meeting other financial goals like paying off high-interest debt or saving for retirement.
If you’ve met all of those benchmarks, the best thing you can do is ignore the hype around new record highs or lows. Like with traditional, long-term investing, the best thing you can do is “set it and forget it,” Humphrey Yang, the personal finance expert behind Humphrey Talks, previously told NextAdvisor.
Scammers stole an all-time high of $14 billion in crypto assets in 2021. To protect yourself from hacks and scams, prioritize safeguarding your crypto by implementing good digital security habits and watching out for common red flags. For instance, avoid promises of free money or any contractual obligations that lock you into holding crypto without being able to sell. These are some other common red flags in crypto:
If you’re trading more than a few hundreds dollars of crypto, consider getting a crypto wallet for additional security. There are two types of crypto wallets: a hot wallet and a cold wallet. A hot wallet stores crypto online, while a cold wallet stores your crypto offline on a piece of hardware. Crypto held in hot wallets is not FDIC-insured. So if you put your crypto in a hot wallet, make sure it has robust security measures, including two-factor authentication, allows for a portion stored in a cold wallet, and private insurance policies in case of theft or hacking. Crypto held in hot wallets is not FDIC-insure.
You get one unique key to access your wallet, which means you need to be extra careful about not losing your key or having it stolen. Avoid sharing your private key with anyone and maintain strong, regularly updated passwords.
If you suspect you’re a victim of fraud or suspicious activity, report it to the crypto exchange you used to complete the crypto transaction and to the following government agencies:
Just as with Bitcoin, you can buy Ether on crypto exchanges.
First, you’ll want to choose a cryptocurrency exchange to purchase Ether or other digital currencies. Depending on the exchange you choose, you may need to provide information like your Social Security number and ID. Once you’ve created your account, most exchanges will ask to connect your bank account or a debit card to fund your crypto purchases.
Generally, if you’re using a beginner-friendly platform like Coinbase or PayPal, you can simply enter the amount in dollars you want to trade for Ethereum, and buy at the current rate (after accounting for any fees). If you’re on an exchange that allows for more advanced trading, you may have the option to place both market and limit orders.
Lastly, make sure the platform you’re using is storing your crypto safely. Many exchanges let you to leave your investment within your account, which makes sense for most beginners. But if you want to further secure your digital assets, you can transfer them into a hot or cold wallet.
There are hundreds of cryptocurrency exchanges you can use to buy and sell cryptocurrencies online.
If you’re stuck on which one to use, you can narrow down your search a few ways. First, pay attention to security. If you plan to keep your crypto on your account with an exchange, make sure you choose an exchange that uses offline, cold storage, and has strong protections against theft. Some exchanges also have independent insurance policies to help protect investors from potential hacking.
Exchange fees can also play a role in what crypto exchange you use, because they can vary greatly. Fees on exchanges may be applied as a flat fee upfront or as a percentage of your trades – and can be based on price volatility.
While fees are important to consider, experts say you get what you pay for. Bigger, more established exchanges like Coinbase or Gemini, may have higher fees. But if an exchange has more protections, better security, or other important features to you, it may be worth slightly higher fees.
There are plenty of cryptocurrency exchanges out there, but there are only a handful that we recommend for crypto investors. The volatile, speculative nature of cryptocurrency investing makes it risky no matter how and where you buy it, which is why security should be a top priority when picking a crypto exchange. Here are our favorites, and who they make the most sense for:
Ethereum has had a rough start to the year, but its price is still way above what it was a few years ago.
Etherum broke $1 in the first week of January 2016. By February 2016, it had doubled to over $2. This pace continued throughout the year, and ETH closed 2016 at around $8.
Ethereum’s steady stride took on more volatility in 2017. The first rapid climb happened between April and June, when ETH went from the mid $40s to a price of roughly $362. It achieved a few more peaks and valleys, until its next all-time high came in December — this time $826. ETH closed the year 2017 around $772.
In January 2018. ETH kicked off with a price 600 times higher than it was just two years prior in January 2016. The euphoria, however, would peak and fizzle just after ETH reached a new all-time high of about $1,396 on Jan. 12. Things quickly turned after that. Except for one brief spike back up to $816, ETH’s price declined all throughout 2018. It closed the year around $141.
Prices calmed for about two years, and ETH fluctuated between $150 and $730. These rolling peaks and valleys stayed within about a $600 margin and were comparatively mild when we look at what came next in 2021.
The demand for NFTs in 2021 sent the number of people buying ETH skyrocketing. To purchase an NFT, consumers need a crypto wallet funded with ETH, which they then use to purchase the digital tokens they want. It’s no surprise, then, that the price of ETH shot up from around $730 in late 2020 to $4,000 by May of 2021, followed by another all-time high around $4,800 in November.
Since the start of 2022, Ethereum’s price has hovered around $3,000, primarily due to investor uncertainty driven by the war in Ukraine, inflation, and the Federal Reserve’s tightening monetary policy.
If you want to invest in crypto, financial experts say it’s a good idea to start with the two most well-known cryptocurrencies on the market right now: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
But it’s important to note that they not only have technical differences, but also offer two completely different value propositions for investors.
Many investors see Bitcoin as a store of value, also characterized as “digital gold,” that can be used as a guard against inflation. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, and is much more pricey. The average price for a single Bitcoin right now is around $40,000.
Ethereum, on the other hand, is a software platform that allows developers to build other crypto-oriented apps on it. Ethereum’s native digital currency is Ether, and by buying it, investors in Ethereum are essentially betting that the Ethereum network will continue to be used and expanded upon by developers. The entry point for buying Ether is a lot lower than Bitcoin. The price of Ether is currently hovering around $3,000.
Bitcoin and Ethereum are highly speculative assets, and there are similar risks associated with both. However, as the top two cryptos on the market, most experts say both are good options if you are just starting to invest in crypto. If you can’t pick between the two, some experts suggest splitting the difference and investing in both, as long as you have extra cash laying around and you’re only investing what you’re OK with losing.
Ethereum has many uses and applications across the tech world, especially for gaming, music, entertainment, and DeFi — making it one of the most popular and widely-used cryptos this past year.
Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, making up roughly one quarter of the entire 16,000-plus cryptocurrencies in existence — though no less volatile. Ethereum has ranged in value from less than $2,500 to more than $4,800 in recent months.
Ethereum was invented by programmer Vitalik Buterin in 2015, on the heels of Bitcoin. Buterin, a Bitcoin enthusiast, quickly realized that Bitcoin is limited in what it can do and offer to people, so he created Ethereum, a blockchain network with an associated cryptocurrency called ether (ETH), with the potential to do far more.
Buterin built Ethereum on the principles of DeFi, with the intention to create a place for people to offer products and services that can be accessed by anyone on the internet.
While you can buy and trade Ethereum as an investment like Bitcoin, it’s also a software platform developers can use to create new applications — often crypto-adjacent or otherwise designed to make buying, selling, and using cryptocurrency a smoother process. Like the apps on a phone, apps on the Ethereum blockchain can be anything from lending apps to payment platforms.
Developers have to pay a fee to the Ethereum network to create new tokens or decentralized apps on the network. They make these payments in Ether, also known as “gas” fees.
Ethereum’s market capitalization is found by multiplying the current number of coins in existence — over 120 million — with Ethereum’s price at a given time. As Ethereum’s price fluctuates, which it does frequently, so too does its market capitalization. In the past few weeks, Ether’s price has been between around $2,800 and $3,200, which translates into a significant range in market capitalization:
Despite the challenge of predicting the price of a volatile cryptocurrency, the experts we spoke with generally have a long-term bullish outlook on Ethereum. A recent Ethereum prediction by Bloomberg intelligence analyst Mike McGlone has it ending the year between $4,000-$4,500. But how high might it go from there? That will depend on several factors that could contribute to its long-term value.
The price of Ether held above $3,000 throughout the week of April 18, though the price can fluctuate widely from day-to-day or even hour-to-hour.
Depending on the crypto exchange, you can invest in Ethereum and other popular cryptocurrencies with as little as $1.
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