Ether hits two-week high close to $2,400 as excitement builds over major ethereum network upgrades

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Ether hit a two-week high on Sunday.

Ether rose to a two-week high on Sunday evening as the second-biggest cryptocurrency was boosted by upcoming network upgrades and a rebound in the crypto market as a whole.

The native cryptocurrency of the ethereum network rose as high as $2,392 on Sunday, its highest level since mid-June, according to CoinGecko data.

It then fell somewhat and traded at around $2,296 on Monday. Ether was around 900% higher than a year ago on Monday, but down more than 47% from its May record high of $4,357, CoinGecko data showed.

Analysts at Coinbase said the exchange – the biggest in the US – had seen a pick-up in interest in ether, relative to bitcoin, over the last week.

Read more: The head of digital assets research at a $71 billion money manager breaks down how ethereum can reach $2 trillion in market cap in a ‘blue sky scenario’ – and shares what could be next for crypto after DeFi and NFT

The analysts said upcoming upgrades to the ethereum network were attracting buyers. “Sentiment remains positive with EIP-1559 being deployed on testnets ahead of its anticipated release in late July/early August,” they said in a note.

EIP-1559 is an upgrade that will change the network so that ether coins start to be destroyed, limiting the supply and potentially boosting the price.

The upgrades are currently working their way through the ethereum system and are expected to come fully into force in the next two months.

The broader cryptocurrency market has shown resilience in the last couple of weeks after sharp falls in May.

Bitcoin fell below $30,000 in June, but it has rebounded over the last week to trade at around $34,520 as of Monday.

Coinbase’s analysts said reports that George Soros’ fund was trading bitcoin was one factor that may have boosted crypto markets.

Yet many analysts are concerned about regulatory crackdowns, which UBS has said could pop what it called the crypto bubble.

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Billionaire media mogul Barry Diller calls cryptocurrencies a ‘con’ and says price forecasts are ‘nutso’

Barry Diller
IAC Chairman Barry Diller.

  • Barry Diller, IAC’s chairman, called cryptocurrencies a “con” during a CNBC interview on Friday.
  • Price calls of “$40,000, $12,000” on cryptocurrencies are “nutso talk,” he told “Squawk Box.”
  • Diller made his comments during this week’s crash in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Cryptocurrencies are a “con,” the billionaire investor Barry Diller told CNBC on Friday. He voiced his distrust of the asset class that’s been dragged sharply lower this week largely on regulatory concerns.

The chairman of IAC, which runs internet and media brands including Care.com and The Daily Beast, initially balked at the question from “Squawk Box” about his thoughts on digital currency but quickly proceeded to answer.

“Yeah, absolutely,” he said as he confirmed his view that cryptocurrency is a con. “I watch some of the people that you have on and they talk about it – $40,000, $12,000, whatever. I think, ‘This is nutso talk,'” he said.

Diller, also the chairman of Expedia and the founder of Fox Broadcasting, made his comments on the same day that bitcoin swung down 10% after China reiterated its call to restrict mining and trading activities surrounding the largest cryptocurrency.

China’s statement, led by Vice Premier Liu He, threw off course bitcoin’s attempt to recover losses from its slide of more than 35% in a matter of days. A midweek sell-off was sparked after the People’s Bank of China said digital tokens couldn’t be used as a payment form by financial institutions. Other cryptocurrencies, including ether, the token of the ethereum blockchain, were also slammed lower in the wake of China’s regulatory threats.

Diller sat down with CNBC in an interview, during which he called this week’s merger plan between AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Discovery a “great escape” for AT&T.

Next week, IAC is set to spin off the video-hosting site Vimeo, whose shares are set to trade under the “VMEO” ticker on the Nasdaq starting Tuesday.

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Ethan Allen stock is soaring as traders confuse its ticker with the identical one for ether

FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
  • One beneficiary of the 2021 crypto boom is furniture chain Ethan Allen, which shares an identical ticker symbol with ether.
  • The furniture retailer has seen its stock climb 51% year-to-date while ether has more than quadrupled.
  • Most of the online message forums for Ethan Allen are riddled with messages about ether.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Shares of Ethan Allen have surged more than 50% year-to-date and are up nearly 200% over the past year, potentially due in part to trader confusion over the ticker symbol it shares with cryptocurrency ether: ETH.

Ether, which works on the ethereum blockchain, has been on a tear so far this year, quadrupling to more than $3,000 as a boom in bitcoin helped set the stage for an investor frenzy in other alt-coins like ether and dogecoin.

The StockTwits investment forum dedicated to Ethan Allen is riddled with messages about the cryptocurrency rather than the furniture seller. Daily message volume on StockTwits’ Ethan Allen page has surged 300% since the start of May, which coincides with a parabolic surge in ether’s price.

“We’ve definitely seen a massive increase on a percentage basis in mistaken activity on the Ethan Allen stream,” StockTwits CEO Rishi Khanna told The Wall Street Journal.

That’s not to say Ethan Allen is up solely due to potential ticker confusion with ether. The furniture retailer has seen a boom in business amid the pandemic as demand for homes surged to records. Year-over-year revenue growth of 18% in the first quarter of 2021, combined with a special dividend announcement of $0.75, helped propel shares higher in late April.

This isn’t the first time investors have mistaken a ticker symbol or company name with another company that was in the news, leading to a massive price increase as retail investors created buying pressure. In January, shares of Signal Advance soared more than 11,000% after Tesla CEO Elon Musk recommended a similarly named privacy app that was not publicly traded.

And in February, tweets about audio-app Clubhouse from Musk spurred a massive surge in Clubhouse Media Group, a microcap stock unrelated to the popular audio-chat application.

If anything, the trader confusion over ticker symbols and company names should serve as a warning to new investors that are eager to put money to work: slow down and perform the proper due diligence before investing in individual stocks.

Read more: ‘Wolf of All Streets’ crypto trader Scott Melker breaks down his strategy for making money using ‘HODLing’ and 100-times trade opportunities – and shares 5 under-the-radar tokens he thinks could explode

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