Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin that’s seen its price soar over the last year, is fighting to maintain its dominance in an increasingly crowded market.
The ethereum price has rocketed 2,500% since the beginning of 2020 with its market capitalization ballooning to almost $400 billion. Meanwhile, ethereum’s biggest smart contract blockchain rivals Binance’s BNB, solana and cardano have all risen at an even faster clip as investors bet they could win market share from ethereum.
Now, a survey of crypto experts has revealed an ethereum price prediction of $7,600 in 2022—double its price at the beginning of the year.
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“While the network certainly has advantages in global market awareness and developer base, it is also against increasingly strong competition that bitcoin does not face by contrast,” said Finder founder Fred Schebesta, who predicts ethereum will peak at $7,000 in 2022 before dropping to $6,000 by the end of the year due to “heavy competition.”
Longer-term, the 33-strong panel surveyed by personal finance comparison site Finder predicted that the ethereum price will reach almost $11,000 by the end of 2025 and an eye-popping $26,000 by the end of 2030. Just over half (52%) of the panel think it’s time to buy ethereum, while 30% recommend investors “hold.” Just 19% think it’s the right time to sell ethereum.
Meanwhile, almost 80% of panelists think ethereum’s long-awaited move to a proof-of-stake model, away from the more energy-intensive proof-of-work model used by bitcoin, will likely lead to an increase in the ethereum price.
“Scalability and throughput are king, but doing this in a decentralized manner with security is critical—proof-of-stake on ethereum in 2022 should get them there,” said panelist and Thomson Reuters technologist Joseph Raczynski, who thinks the ethereum price will climb to $8,000 by the end of 2022 and soar to $15,000 by the end of 2025.
Ethereum began moving toward proof-of-stake, expected to help ethereum scale, reduce fees and increase transaction times, at the end of 2020. The process is expected to be completed by June 2022.
“If the ethereum 2.0 model is successful and proof-of-stake is properly implemented, we can expect ethereum to moon real hard,” said panelist and CoinSmart chief executive Justin Hartzman.
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However, other panel members aren’t convinced and have warned the ethereum network’s high fees, known as gas, will remain detrimentally high.
“The improvements provided by proof-of-stake will not outweigh the negative impact of excessive gas prices,” said Panxora Group chief executive Gavin Smith, who expects a price drop following the move to proof-of-stake and thinks it’s time to sell. “The change made recently to gas calculations will cancel out any reduction in gas prices that proof-of-stake would have provided.”
Ethereum has seen a surge in use and demands on its network over the past 18 months due to the soaring popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi)—designed to recreate traditional financial services with crypto technology—and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)—blockchain-based collectibles that have been widely adopted by the art industry, musicians and the world of sport.
However, some think Binance’s BNB, solana and cardano—which boast faster transactions times and lower fees—could attract users away from ethereum’s blockchain, where almost all DeFi and most NFTs are currently based.
In January, Wall Street giant JPMorgan warned ethereum’s high transaction fees and network congestion risk handing NFT market share to rival blockchain solana—something that could be a “problem for ethereum’s valuation.”