The price of ether, the cryptocurrency powering the ethereum blockchain, has surged over the last week, approaching all-time highs set in 2016 as it hit its highest value in nearly eight months.
All told, ether prices have risen as much as 59% during the week, reaching $20.67 at roughly 10:44 UTC today after opening slightly above $13 on 25th February, CoinMarketCap figures show.
At the time of reporting, ether had pulled back somewhat, but was still trading roughly 50% higher for the week at $19.54.
Driving the increased demand was perhaps the formal launch of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a new consortium focused on the technology that has drawn members from major financial services, software companies and firms in the oil and gas industries.
The group aims to apply ethereum's fundamentals to enterprise-grade blockchain implementations.
The project's launch helped give ether a boost, market observers told CoinDesk.
Tim Enneking, chairman of Crypto Asset Management, said of the development:
"The launch of the Alliance definitely fueled most of the price increase. Anything that increases the legitimacy and stability of an altcoin will cause its price to increase, sometimes dramatically."
Petar Zivkovski, COO of leveraged digital currency trading platform Whaleclub, adopted a similar stance.
Zivkovski said that the group and its proposed solutions have "re-ignited hope and legitimacy in ethereum, which was, until recently, mired in controversies and uncertainty."
Still, ether's recent price gains – at least in the public eye – have been arguably overshadowed by those of bitcoin and dash, which have both recently hit all-time highs and seen major media coverage.
Of the two, bitcoin has undoubtedly stolen the show in the last few weeks with string of fresh, all-time highs amid robust trading volume and bullish market sentiment.
The digital currency has risen to several new highs in recent sessions, after failing to set a new record level for more than three years. It even hit parity with the per-ounce spot price of gold this week.
Dash, by comparison, has surged more than 75% in the last week and upwards of 200% over the last month, CoinMarketCap data shows. The token hit an all-time high of $58.90 on 2nd March, after opening slightly north of $26 on 25th February.
Market observers have offered numerous explanations for this rally, though no consensus on what is driving the push has emerged.
Images via CoinMarketCap, Bitcoinity, Shutterstock