Ether (ETH) eclipsed $4,000 for the first time on Monday, passing the psychologically significant barrier on multiple exchanges, including Coinbase. The new milestone comes just a week after breaking $3,000.
Last week, ETH overtook Bank of America stock as the 28th-largest asset in the world. But at $454.49 billion as of today, ETH has now eclipsed the market capitalization of consumer-staples giants Wal-Mart and Johnson and Johnson, and it is knocking at the door of JPMorgan Chase — the largest United States bank by assets under management.
Part of the rise may be linked to increasing institutional interest in the asset. Last week, a CoinShares report said that institutions bought over $30 million in ETH at the end of April. Money managers are thought to now own $13.9 billion in ETH or ETH vehicles.
Likewise, there have been significant strides in adoption. On April 28, the European Investment Bank announced that it would be issuing a $120 million bond on Ethereum, the world’s largest layer-one blockchain, in collaboration with major banking entities such as Goldman Sachs. Additionally, the growth of decentralized finance — one of Ethereum’s key communities and use cases — continues at a remarkable pace.
However, the most bullish catalysts on the horizon are a pair of major infrastructure upgrades to the network: EIP-1559 and Ethereum 2.0. EIP-1559, now scheduled to be included in the “London” hard fork, will include an overhaul of the Ethereum fee structure and is expected to decrease gas costs significantly while also potentially making ETH a more deflationary asset.
Eth2, in turn, will transition the network to a proof-of-stake consensus model, which is expected to decrease sell pressure and encourage holding the asset.
The remarkable run has even prompted renewed speculation that there could be a “flippening” on the horizon — a long-anticipated event among the Ethereum community in which ETH overtakes Bitcoin (BTC) in market capitalization.