In a note to clients, Tom Lee, managing partner and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors and former J.P. Morgan Chief Equity Strategist, made the prediction that Ether could trade as high as $1900 by the end of the year. Lee, who believes Ethereum has struggled this past year due to a lack of confidence in its technology roadmap, increased competition, and “panic selling,” said that Ethereum “about to stage a trend reversal and rally strongly.”
With a couple of months left in the year, Lee’s claim remains yet to be seen. But there is, undeniably, a lot of exciting recent innovation and development surrounding Ethereum in recent weeks and months. Let’s take a closer look.
Increased Mainstream Adoption
Ethereum, which primarily functions as a platform that supports smart contracts and decentralized applications, is becoming more and more widely adopted by various industries. In particular, smart contracts, or a computer protocol that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies or assets between parties under certain conditions, have begun to demonstrate their applicability in fields ranging from healthcare, to education, to real estate.
In the healthcare space, hospitals, insurance companies and patients can share network access while still retaining data security and patient confidentiality, and schools of medicine are beginning to fund research to help them utilize blockchain.
Elsewhere, institutes of higher learning are beginning to issue digital diplomas and certificates to combat costly fights against falsely claimed, unmerited credits, and in the real estate market, the technology makes property records registrations as well as transactions, easier, and can be used to perform deed transfers and speed up deals.
“It has become essential for individuals to own and control all elements of their digital identity,” writes digital payment expert Mirela Ciobanu. “Individuals need a secure encrypted platform where they can store their identity data and easily control access to it. Currently, many industries, from finance to government, and associations are trying to create and support this.”
Commitment to Innovation at San Francisco Blockchain Week
Recently, there has been an increase in activity in Ethereum development. In the last week, there have been over 1,200,000 changes, or commits, to the Ethereum code. According to industry watchers, “Ethereum is far surpassing bitcoin, and any other crypto, by the number of commits on GitHub…as well as the number of developers.”
Indeed, the Ethereum developer community is hard at work. On October 5-7 San Francisco welcomed the world’s largest Ethereum hackathon, ETH San Francisco. The hackathon, described as “an opportunity to work alongside the developers, industry experts, advisers, and companies who are making the infrastructure and applications that will power the new decentralized web,” also included many discussions with industry experts, as well as an interview with Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin. ETH San Francisco is just one point of San Francisco Blockchain Week from October 5-12, dedicated to blockchain education and innovation.
While the future of Ethereum is unclear after a sluggish 2018, there is a lot of momentum and excitement in the space and good reason to remain optimistic. Speaking earlier this year, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said “Ethereum interests me because it can do things and because it’s a platform,” going so far as to suggest that the company could one day be as powerful as Apple. The future of Ethereum may be unclear given the 2018’s sluggish trajectory thus far, but if all of the hackathons and conferences are any indication, there is a lot of momentum and good reason to remain optimistic.