Ethereum breaks above $1,300 to hit a fresh all-time
high on Wednesday.
The second largest cryptocurrency by market
capitalisation is defying its major rivals, which have slumped
during morning trade.
Both bitcoin and Ripple’s XRP are significantly lower
on the day.
LONDON — Ethereum,
the second biggest cryptocurrency in the markets, broke to a
fresh all-time high overnight on Wednesday, before pulling back
and falling into negative territory on the day.
Just after midnight UK time, ethereum’s price broke as high as
$1,375, having only surpassed $1,000 during trade over the
weekend. Ethereum has since slipped into negative territory,
losing around 2.3% as of just before 10.00 a.m. GMT (5.00 a.m.
ET) as the chart below illustrates:
Ethereum’s recent rally first started after a
fourth-quarter report on the performance of the currency — which
is a decentralized network for people to run contracts on —
showed that transaction volumes on its network doubled, according
, “surpassing 10
transactions per second for days at a time.”
Ethereum’s fall on the day coincides with drops for the two
other largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation, bitcoin
XRP, both of which have seen falls on Wednesday. At 10.00
a.m. GMT, bitcoin is lower by around 4% to trade at
XRP, which took even more of a hammering in early trade,
has bounced back a little, but remains in the red, as the chart
One possible reason for these falls is the announcement
overnight that the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is
establishing a taskforce to monitor cryptocurrency transactions.
According to our colleagues at Business Insider Australia, the
taskforce “aims to ensure cryptocurrency investors are paying
the correct amount of tax. A team of specialists across tax law,
technology, banking and finance will devise strategies to follow
the money on gains made from investment in digital currency.”
“We are consulting with key stakeholders who have expressed an
interest in tax issues relating to cryptocurrencies,” a spokesman
for the ATO said.
The falls could also be linked to a hangover from the news
on Monday that
CoinMarketCap.com, arguably the
most popular and important site for cryptocurrency pricing data,
had opted to remove South Korean exchanges from its data
That announcement caused a major sell-off at the time, and
is likely still having some impact on the market.