Ethereum has gone from the new kid on the block to cryptocurrency kingpin with staggering speed. Driven by the idea of smart contracts executed on the blockchain, Ethereum has become the de facto foundation for blockchain developers, enabling tons of new decentralized apps (dapps) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). 2017 is just the beginning for Ethereum and Ethereum price prediction experts agree that the currency still has enormous potential for future growth.

The Current State of Ethereum Prices in 2017

Ethereum has exploded in 2017. After starting the year with a January 1 price of $8.27 per ETH, Ethereum hit its peak on September 1 with a price of $389.15, according to CoinDesk. That an increase of 4705% over the course of nine months, making Ethereum the second most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. As of October 2017, Ethereum’s market cap was just north of $30 billion.

In September, Chinese officials announced that they’d be shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, leading to a massive devaluation in Ethereum’s price. However, in October 2017 Ethereum has begun to rebound from the bad month in September, and analysts are hopeful that it will regain its impressive growth rate shown in the first half of the year.

Barring any other major news reports, Ethereum price predictions have high hopes for Ethereum headed into 2018 and the medium-term future. Because so many other technologies and crypto-tokens depend on the Ethereum blockchain to power their core features, Ethereum is in a unique position where it’s tokens are actually being used to provide a service. Most cryptocurrencies currently on the market are mostly speculative or used as a means of exchange by a narrow percentage of the population.

Next Year: Ethereum Price Prediction 2018

Ethereum has a couple big technical hurdles in the coming months. None is bigger than its move to proof of stake over the traditional proof of work when creating new blocks for the blockchain. According to Blockgeeks, proof of stake will make the technology more scalable and use less energy for mining.

Instead of having thousands of computers compete to solve cryptographic challenges, Ethereum will have peers put up a sum of currency before they verify transactions. If they verify the transactions truthfully, they’ll have their currency returned plus a reward for the verification work. However, if it’s discovered that they’ve altered the transaction ledger, the verifier will lose all the currency they put up at the beginning of the proof of stake process.

This move to proof of stake will impact Ethereum’s price in 2018. If it’s implemented well, Ethereum will become more valuable as the longevity and scalability of the blockchain increases. However, a poor implementation could throw the Ethereum community into chaos, and the price of ETH could take a hit. Most estimates are positive, and the average consensus is that Ethereum should easily reach $500 in 2018. Some analyst claim even $1000 is not unreasonable.

Medium-Term Forecast: Ethereum Price Prediction 2020

In the medium term, Ethereum could overtake Bitcoin in the next few years as the cryptocurrency of choice for users and investors. Since Ethereum powers smart contracts and the creation of new tokens using the ERC-20 protocol, it’s not unreasonable that it’s popularity could outstrip Bitcoin’s. This is especially possible considering Bitcoin’s scalability issues and current transaction wait times.

Investors are generally bullish on Ethereum’s future. According to one analyst who successfully predicted Bitcoin’s rise to over $5000 this year, Ethereum is on track to at least double its current value. Bobby Ullery, a cryptocurrency investor, is even more bullish in his predictions. According to Ullery, Ethereum and Bitcoin combined will reach a market cap of $4.5 trillion sometime around 2020. He believes cryptocurrencies will make up 5% of global GDP by the end of 2020.

Ullery’s predictions are definitely among the most optimistic out there. Nevertheless, most experts agree that Ethereum makes sense as a good investment as long as you believe the blockchain will be an important, viable technology in the future.

Buy and Hold; This is Just the Beginning

If you believe blockchain technology is the future of applications, development, and data management, then Ethereum is a great investment. According to seven cryptocurrency experts in Fortune, Ethereum is here to stay and new decentralized technology will continue to challenge Wall Street and Silicon Valley. While cryptocurrency investors should be fully aware of the volatile market and be prepared to lose everything they invest, every passing year the blockchain revolution gets closer.

The age old investing advice of buy and hold applies in cryptocurrency as much as in other investing arenas. The cryptocurrency market is volatile, and timing the market is extremely difficult. Do your research and make your own judgments about whether you think Ethereum is a viable currency long term, then be prepared to buy and hold that investment through the bumps in the market.

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