The price of ether, the token that powers the blockchain-based smart contract platform ethereum, surged to a new all-time high today.

The digital asset, which had been edging up throughout the week, rose to as much as $32.78 on CoinMarketCap today, roughly 15% higher than the session’s opening price of $28.65.

At the time of report, ether was trading at a fresh, all-time high.

The move coincides with an overall rise in the cryptocurrency market, which has been climbing in value even after the SEC rejected the proposed Winklevoss ETF, a bitcoin-based retail investment vehicle, last Friday.

In the days following the landmark decision, the value of the digital currency market spiked, adding more than $4bn worth of value through Monday, according to data compiled by CoinDesk.

Ether prices surged during this rally, climbing more than 70% from a low of $17.68 on 10th March to a high of $30.60 on 13th March.

Today, the digital currency’s price extended these gains, repeatedly reaching new highs and even testing beyond the $32 level.

Traders seek alternatives

As for why the cryptocurrency space has been generating so much demand – and such robust returns – analysts offered a few different explanations. For starters, bitcoin has been encountering some challenges lately, as the drama surrounding its longstanding scaling dilemma once again dominated the news this week.

Bitcoin’s ongoing challenges only make alternatives look more appealing, said cryptocurrency fund manager Jacob Eliosoff.

“Ethereum remains the top alternative,” he added.

Market expert Tim Enneking took a slightly different approach, emphasizing the robust returns that traders can obtain with alternative protocol assets, stating:

“There are far bigger gains to be made nowadays in altcoins than in BTC … Far more money to be made, and more risk, in altcoins!”

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