Ether (ETH) eclipsed $4,000 for the first time on May 10, 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 as the 28th largest asset in the world. But at $454.49 billion as of today, ETH has now eclipsed the market cap of consumer staples giants Wal-Mart and Johnson and Johnson, and is knocking at the door of JPMorgan Chase — the largest American bank by assets under management.
Part of the rise may be linked to increasing institutional interest in the asset. This 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. Last week the European Investment Bank announced that they would be issuing a $120 million bond on the world’s largest layer-1 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 clip.
However, the most bullish catalysts on the horizon are a pair of major infrastructure upgrades to the network: EIP-1559 and ETH 2.0. EIP-1559, now scheduled to be included in the “London” hard fork, will include an overhaul of the ETH fee structure and is expected to decrease gas costs significantly while also potentially making ETH a more deflationary asset.
ETH 2.0, 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 where ETH overtakes BTC in market capitalization.