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Ethereum’s February Adventure

Ethereum's price fluctuations in February suggest confidence in the development team and broadening excitement about Ethereum's future.

Ethereum is on an exciting run. Over the past week, the currency hit headlines with Microsoft’s announcement of software-as-a-service startup BlockApps using Ethereum, and subsequent positive press came with bullish Ethereum trading.

But the price rise started before then, back in late January and early February. After a long period (2015) of simmering around $1/share, the price rose above $2, then during a flurry of trading around February 8th, started climbing to above $6.

Source: Smith + Crown analysis of Google Trends and Smith + Crown data

What’s driving this activity? Let’s review some of the different theories and developments.

  • Some attributed Ethereum’s rise to Bitcoin’s fall, still in the shadow of Mike Hearn’s much-discussed departure from the Bitcoin core development team. However, Bitcoin’s price dipped before Ethereum’s started to rise. There have been a couple periods in which one currency’s loss appears to be another’s gain, but the two currencies have largely risen together.
  • The dev update laying out Ethereum’s C++ roadmap from the newly announced lead developer surely contributed to the Feb 12th price peak: a new leader with a clearly articulated vision. But that frenzy quieted down, as did search activity for Ethereum.
  • Google Trends suggests an uptick in interest on Feb 8th, but no major news articles came out until the price started to rise dramatically, suggesting that news outlets were reactive. The early February energy in trading and searching subsided after Feb 12th.
  • The most likely fuel sources were a Feb 8th slough of development updates and the reddit posting of Ethereum Homestead’s preview website (which looks slick, by the way).
  • With late February announcements that further solidify Ethereum’s legitimacy as a technology platform, the rocket took off again.

What does this autoposy reveal?

The community of cryptocurrency coinholders and news outlets is quite small relative to that for broader financial markets, so it’s possible to map where confidence, confusion, and doubt manifest in both trading and online discussion. The perfect storm of updates, new leadership, and third-party validation has given Ethereum an exciting approach to Homestead.