Which cryptocurrency comes to your mind when talking about the symbolic silver medal following Bitcoin? Ripple? Bitcoin Cash? Litecoin? Of course, it is Ethereum, and there are actually plenty of compelling reasons for that.
No, it is not because ETH was released before anything else since nearly 20 crypto projects had left Ethereum behind at the time it was initially launched. The reasons are its worthiness and influence it brings to the whole blockchain world, as well as it’s market capitalization and relatively high exchange price. Initially created with the dream of giving rise to decentralized applications, Ethereum had found millions of followers in just a few years, and by now, its market capitalization confidently keeps above $13 bln levels.
Unlike Bitcoin, we know for sure who has created ETH – it is Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer, who is also known as a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. Buterin firstly mentioned Ether back in 2013, when he argued that Bitcoin needed a scripting language for application development. After he had failed to get BTC’s community agreement, he declared the creation of a brand new platform where people from all over the world could create decentralized blockchain apps. Ethereum was launched in 2015, and by now, there are thousands of ETH-based apps, including ones dealing with internet-of-things, electricity sources, and, of course, initial coin offerings and trading.
Despite all these kind words and exciting achievements, Ethereum still had hard times both technically and financially. For the technical aspect, you can check our exclusive article on the subject. As for the financial part – you have come to the right place. We are going to deeply analyze yearly ETH exchange rates to catch out all the tendencies and mark the most crucial moments. Without further ado, let us do it.
As we have mentioned before, ETH’s first references are dated 2013. This year was Buterin’s time to realize what the blockchain world needed. As for the name, Vitalik picked it up by browsing dozens of Wikipedia articles about chemical elements and science fiction. After running into Ethereum, he had immediately realized: ‘that’s it’.
He started the development, probably realizing already then, in 2013, how much influence Ethereum would bring to humanity. ETH cost nothing then on the exchanges since it was not even officially launched yet, but its future importance was already recognizable. 2013 Results: from $0 to $0.
January 23, Buterin published an article titled ‘Ethereum: now going public’, where he first described the ‘new generation platform’ with smart contracts, underlying cryptocurrency, decentralized organization, and other valuable products.
Later on, in 2014, the ETH team officially started the presale stage. It was an official debut for Ethereum as a valuable unit in the financial world, so it was not too expensive then: 2000 ETH was equal to 1 BTC. After the first 14 successful days of selling Ether, the price had risen to 1337 ETH for 1 BTC. The presale lasted 42 days, from July 22 to September 2, and brought the team outstanding 60,102,200 released. The sum was equal then to $18,439,000 or 31,591 BTC. 2014 Results: from $0 to $0,31
At the time when Bitcoin was climbing above the $400 mark and falling back, Ethereum had only just begun its way to the exchange tops. The Ethereum Frontier network was officially launched on July 23, and it already included then an ability to develop decentralized Ethereum-based applications. It was a breath of fresh air for the market, so developers worldwide immediately begun adopting Buterin’s and co solutions, and bringing new valuable products to the market.
The ETH network was growing unbelievably fast, and the first 100,000 blocks were already generated in less than a month, on August 18. A few weeks after, the first Ethereum wallet was officially introduced to the public. 2015 generally was not the year when Ethereum had outpaced everyone on the market from a financial point of view, but it was the year of significant technical and public progress, that lead to the Ether’s massive public adoption. The rates though, had also multiplied, remarkably multiplied. 2015 results: from $0.31 to $2.83
Before this year, Ether had been suffering from the instability of its core technologies. The Frontier that had been released the year before was mainly intended at letting people know what actually Ethereum platform was, so there were no surprises that it needed some upgrades afterward.
Homestead was the first soft fork of the platform that was considered by experts as stable. Released on March 15, 2015, it significantly improved the overall protocol stability, as well as strengthened its security and pushed forward transaction processing technologies. It also affected the ETH exchange rates, and they went up by 4 dollars (from $11 to $15) in just two days.
The community behind the project understood how meaningful and an important update was, and so did the exchanges. The Homestead was a huge leap forward in every sense since it meant that the Ethereum blockchain was incompatible with its pre-layout from then on, as well as it created a strong foundation for the future updates.
However, not strong enough to handle one of the most valuable hacker attacks on the Ethereum network in the platform’s history. Starting in 2016, the project called ‘The DAO’ started crowdfunding using ETH. The experts now and then were concerned that this hardly affected the exchange rates of the coin. The predictions were positive, the trends were bullish, but then, suddenly, millions of Ethereum were stolen from the DAO’s crowdfunding pool.
On June 17, 2016, a hacker found a technical weakness in the DAO project’s smart contract software, and that lead to a $50 mln worth theft. The Ethereum community was split into two parts: one believed that ETH needed significant improvements, including additional security solutions, and the second group thought the current version is quite perfect despite the recent theft.
As a result, Ethereum got two separate blockchains. First, was a modified one with the theft reversed, which was still called ETH. And the other one was named Ethereum Classic (ETC), as it inherited the original ETH blockchain. The exchange rates of ETH had been crashed down to around $11 level, and the coin could not get to the previous highest level of $18 for almost one year.
In addition to the blockchain split, two hard forks were held on July 20 and November 18. They improved Ethereum even further, plus, the Ledger Nano S support was officially announced by the platform developers.
There were thefts, there were community conflicts, there were autumn’s massive DDoS attacks, but the Vitalik Buterin’s creation had survived during its first fully competitive year. But all to the good, of course, and early Ethereum adopters would understand the proverb very soon. 2016 results: from $2.83 to $8.21
The enthusiasts that still surrounded the Ethereum platform were quite sure in its bright future. ETH entered 2017 with the $700 market capitalization, and even though the previous year had brought a considerable list of regrettable events to ‘the diamond hearts’, it also gave Ethereum a strong starting point.
On February 23, eToro exchange adds Ethereum to its listing pairs, and the unstoppable climb of ETH token officially begun. In less than a month, Ether rates are multiplied by a few times, and on March 20 1 ETH equaled $46!
The spring continued to rock the cryptocurrency market, and in May, AVATrade exchange added ETH, DASH, and XRP to the listing. Ethereum price had skyrocketed to $100 level for the first time in its history. The records did not end, though, and during 2017, ETH was continually improving its results and reached numerous remarkable points. On June 13, Ethereum cost unbelievable $394, and later this year, the top of $812 was achieved. Just imagine how wealthy early Ether adopters became in just a year. All to the good, remember, huh?
Things were going great, so there were no significant improvements, nor hot conflicts or something of the kind. Just one hard fork in September, and the long list of achievements to remember, but what was going to happen next? 2017 results: from $8.21 to $740
The answers and assumptions were polarized, but there was only one true way things would go. If one had a chance to move back in time to the beginning of 2018, he would have a hard time predicting the future of Ethereum price. Right from the start, ETH continued its meteoric growth and reached $800, $900, and then $1,000, $1,100, and even more!
That was the highest exchange rate of the Ethereum token history with an absolute maximum at unbelievable $1,385. Who would believe the numbers two or three years ago, when Ethereum cost three dollars?
It was really hard to believe, but the numbers were real. The project’s team continued support and development of the platform, and on February 14 the Go Ethereum was officially announced. It was an iceberg client, and all the bugs were fixed in this version. The price of ETH was still above $1,000. One month later, March 7, Ethereum Foundation gave away special grants that were aimed to support smart contracts and useful apps in the Ethereum blockchain.
The things were going just perfect, but suddenly the whole crypto market, including Bitcoin, started to fall, and so did ETH. In August, Ethereum already cost only $300, and even though there were major events, such as Devcon 4 sponsored by Microsoft and other huge brands, and new decentralized apps based on Ether, the project finished the year somewhere around $100 mark. ETH holders, supporters, investors, and developers were disappointed, of course, but these weeks were equally sad for most of the blockchain projects, including Bitcoin, so there was actually nothing to regret about. 2018 results: from $740 to $137
Looking a little ahead, this year has not brought so much joy and profit for ETH followers as two previous. Actually, it has brought mostly negative moments with the Ethereum price constantly falling, the platform losing its positions and technologies struggling to be globally adopted as it is meant.
On the second day of 2019, January 2, Ethereum lost his second place in the global cryptocurrencies ranking and let Ripple gain the silver medal following Bitcoin. It did not last too long, but the fact remained. The price was somewhere between $100 and $340 during the whole year, with a slight rise in Summer and a steady fall in Autumn and Winter.
There have been three huge forks in 2019, called Constantinople, Petersburg, and Istanbul. Each of them has brought to the platform important technical improvements aimed at further stabilization and development of the platform, as well as regaining market heights.
As a result, Ethereum has come back to the global second position, with a market cap of $14 bln. However, not all investors share the excitement around ETH, and on April 26, 501,864 ETHs have been withdrawn from the Bitfinex exchange for the reason that is still a mystery for everyone. 2019 Results: from $137 to $132
But, of course, Ethereum project team, millions of developers across the globe, and billions of dollars around ETH are not going to give up. With the latest Istanbul fork, the platform has got plenty of useful solutions that significantly increase transaction speed, privacy, and scalability of the Ethereum network. Even Vitalik Buterin himself cannot hide his excitement and continuously posting on Twitter joyful posts on how great new Ether features are.
Unique technologies, the biggest developer community in the industry, and hundreds of Ethereum-based projects literally make the platform’s future as bright as the Sun, and almost all the market experts agree that Ethereum is still a strong warrior. Even though the current index of Bitcoin dominance has risen up to 68%, Ian McLeod, an influential technology expert, predicts that Ethereum can take 50% of market share from the leading BTC in the coming five years.
Brian Schuster, the founder of Ark Capital LLC, believes Ethereum has a much better future than Bitcoin. He predicts $100,000 exchange rates for Ethereum in 5 years or so, while also claiming ETH will replace gold on the global financial market.
Generally speaking, predictions around Ethereum are quite positive, but the main thing is how stable the platform will be in the upcoming years and how many attractive technical solutions Vitalik Buterin & Co. will bring to the market. The question is here; the answer is to come in a few years – let us see and wait.