While never the main event currency in the altcoin universe (that title has belonged solely to Bitcoin), Ethereum has maintained its position as a strong and stable number two.
Widely regarded as having one of the most versatile blockchains, Ethereum has been the basis of a large majority of the innovations in blockchain and cryptocurrency technology since its inception in 2014. While Bitcoin corners the market in terms of pricing, name value, and capitalisation, whenever you hear of a new blockchain model outside of the narrow confines of pure financial assets, the odds are good that it is either hosted on, or based upon, the Ethereum network.
So what does 2018 hold for the number two altcoin in the market?
This is one that has already occurred this year: hitting the $1,000 pricing benchmark. While Bitcoin sky-rocketed to $20,000 per coin in late 2017 (only to drop almost immediately to under $10,000 per coin within weeks of attaining that peak) Ethereum has been slowly toiling onwards, seeing its value raise steadily, that goalpost of $1,000 per coin tantalisingly out of reach. Now that it has hit that target, focus will be on the next pricing milestone - $2,000 or $2,500 per coin. As more and more businesses use Ether as the fuel to their new projects, this seems easily attainable.
Ethereum is the only altcoin to have made any appreciable dent in Bitcoinâs market share, as it is the only altcoin to have shown regular and consistent growth of its own market share, comparable to the market itself. Again, this is likely due to diversification, and allowing other enterprises and cryptocurrencies to piggyback on its blockchain, but for whatever reason, Ethereum looks set to improve on this in the next 12 months.
With so many new cryptocurrencies being hosted on the Ethereum blockchain, any rise in their value will reflect upon the price of Ethereum. However, so many projects can ultimately throttle the very thing that makes Ethereum so appealing. Scalability is the answer, and Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has made it clear that his intention in 2018 is to make good on his promises of scalability for the altcoin, meaning that the blockchain can be expanded to allow sufficient room for all this new business, without compromising service and transaction speed.
All in all, 2018 looks to be an exciting year for both Ether and the Ethereum network.