- Ether hit a new all-time high above $4,770 on Monday, while bitcoin neared October's record of almost $67,000.
- More ether is being burned and hopes are building for an ether-based ETF.
- The gains for ether and bitcoin helped drive the combined crypto market cap to break $3 trillion for the first time.
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Ether hit record highs on Monday, thanks to a higher burn rate of tokens and fresh burst of new money flowing into the market that lifted bitcoin towards its recent all-time peak, bringing the total value of the cryptocurrency market to $3 trillion for the first time.
Bitcoin was last up 6.5% over the past 24 hours to around $65,884, by 06:40 a.m., while ether was up 2.9%, having risen earlier by as much as 4.6% to a high of $4,762 on Coinbase.
The rise in ether has been underpinned by the rapid burn rate of tokens on the network, with 800,000 ether burned over the last three months, according to Freddie Evans, Sales Trader at UK based digital asset broker GlobalBlock.
"The price of ether is increasing with help from the continuing burning reducing supply and anticipation for eths move to proof of stake in the new year moving ether to a far less energy-intensive system expected to reduce ethereum's energy usage by 99%," Evans said.
Momentum building behind the launch of an ether backed exchange traded fund could have also propelled the coin. Bloomberg analysts last week predicted the first ethereum futures - based exchange traded fund could launch in the first quarter of 2022.
Bakkt, digital asset manager, also told Insider Saturday that they would allow its clients to buy, hold and sell ether via its app by the end of the year.
Ether, the second biggest coin by market cap behind bitcoin, has risen by 36% over the month, thanks to the growing popularity of applications such as non-fungible tokens and the development of the metaverse, while bitcoin has risen by 24% over the month.
New buyers have been jumping into the space, lifting the broader market, Evans added. Coinbase, one of the largest exchanges, was the most downloaded app in the US last week.
"We expect movements like we see now during a bull run; with global interest in crypto seeming to expand exponentially, prices have responded accordingly," Evans said.
With ether and bitcoin hovering around record highs, the total value of the market has now crossed $3 trillion for the first time on record, roughly the size of the entire UK economy.
Community has always been a big part of the crypto space and Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, who co-founded the crypto exchange Gemini, chimed in as the prices rallied on Monday. Evans said he believed this may have added to the upward move in bitcoin.
"Bitcoin feels like it's gonna have a 7 in front of it soon," Cameron Winklevoss said on Twitter early Monday.
"Bitcoin flirting with (an) all-time high. Time to go parabolic," twin Tyler said on Twitter Monday morning.
The surge in ether is feeding expecations that it will soon vault past bitcoin in terms of total market size - an event known as "the flippening". Some market watchers think this could happen in the coming months.