- Ether’s trading volume growth surpassed bitcoin’s in the first half of 2021, Coinbase reported.
- Total bitcoin volume rose 489% to $2.1 trillion, while ether surged 1,461% to $1.4 trillion from a year ago.
- This was the first time ether’s trading activity beat bitcoin’s for a sustained period, the data showed.
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Ethereum’s native token outperformed bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies in trading volumes in the first half of 2021, figures from the largest US crypto exchange Coinbase showed.
Ether’s trading volumes surged 1,461% to $1.4 trillion in the first six months of the year, up from $92 billion a year ago, according to the report released Monday. That compares with a relatively lower 489% jump in bitcoin’s trading volume to $2.1 trillion, up from $356 billion the same time last year.
The data from Coinbase showed this was the first time ether’s trading volume growth topped bitcoin’s for a sustained period.
The first half of 2021 was one of the most active periods on record for cryptocurrencies, marked by new all-time highs, user adoption, and trading activity, Coinbase said, based on data collected from 20 crypto exchanges across the world.
Total crypto market cap kicked off the year at $769 billion, and ended the period 86% higher at $1.4 trillion, the data showed.
Ether has uses beyond being a value token, as products such as smart contracts can be built on top of the ethereum blockchain, and that is seen as offering opportunities for developers and investors. While bitcoin is regarded as an emerging store of value that could compete with gold, it doesn’t have the same versatility in usage as ether.
Factors that contributed to ether’s outperformance include increased usage of decentralized finance, or DeFi, applications and investor optimism for ethereum’s upgrade to “ETH 2.0,” Coinbase said in the report.
The US crypto exchange said many large institutional clients – including hedge funds, endowments, and corporates – grew or added to their ether holdings in the first half of 2021.
Ether and bitcoin have both surged in price, rising 210% and 37% respectively so far this year. Ether was last trading 4% higher at $2,297, and bitcoin was up 7% at $39,918 as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday.