The price of ether, the cryptocurrency native to the ethereum blockchain, broke above $750 Thursday, reaching its highest level since March 8, according to CoinDesk data.
Ether climbed by over 9 percent in the space of 24 hours, briefly breaking above $752 around 14:05 UTC. The price is roughly $746 at the time of writing, price metrics reveal.
May 2-3 ether price chart. Source: CoinDesk.
The cryptocurrency is well below its all-time highs of over $1,200, which it reached in January. The prices fell steeply during the following months, in line with a broad decline across nearly all crypto-assets. It bottomed out in early April, however, and has nearly doubled from its level of $380 on April 5.
Ether's rise has defied growing regulatory concerns, as authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere crack down on initial coin offerings (ICOs), many of which have been launched on the ethereum network. Despite increased scrutiny, however, ICOs have continued, with the value raised in the first quarter surpassing the total for all of 2017.
More recently, questions have arisen about the legal status of ether itself. Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman Gary Gensler commented in late April that ether might qualify as a security, meaning it could be subject to stricter regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Joseph Lubin, a co-founder of ethereum, responded Tuesday by reiterating his view that ether does not fit the definition of a security.
On the technology front, ethereum developers are making progress towards technical improvements such as sharding – a technique to reduce network congestion – and Casper, a roadmap to introduce a "proof of stake" consensus mechanism to the network.
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