Ethereum has been having a moment. While the cryptocurrency has remained a distance second to Bitcoin in terms of volume of trading and has trailed the more popular cryptocurrency in value, the technology backing Ethereum has made it a cryptocurrency darling.

After starting 2017 valued at $11, Ethereum spiked to over $800 by the end of the year and has continued its growth through the new year. It reached an all-time high of $1,432 in January and while it has dipped to $1,016 at the time of publication, it has more successfully weathered the storm of controversy that has plagued other cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin.

Ethereum has enjoyed success off a wave of initial coin offerings (ICOs) used to fundraise for startups and new companies—most of which use Ethereum-based tokens to create their offerings to investors.

The cryptocurrency also boasts a “killer feature” in the form of smart contracts, which allow users to borrow Ethereum or pre-schedule payments in the future with no risk that the transactions won’t be completed.

All that adds up to a potentially promising future for Ethereum, and a number of experts foresee that promise paying out in the near future for investors.

In a survey of more than one dozen finance experts conducted by International Business Times from Jan. 25-30 the average Ethereum price prediction for the first quarter of 2018 placed the cryptocurrency’s expected value at about $1,500.

Benjamin Jessel, managing principal at Capco, told IBT he expected Ethereum to climb to about $1,500 by the end of the first quarter of 2018, but noted making such a prediction is challenging because cryptocurrencies “are only worth what people are prepared to pay for them.”

Jessel said initial coin offerings are currently “pushing up Bitcoin and Ethereum as they are key mechanisms for price increases.” That fact could hamper Ethereum’s growth as ICOs continue to be the subject of scrutiny from government regulators. A number of ICOs have been shut down by agencies in the U.S. and while those crack downs don’t necessarily reflect on Ethereum, it does inject some skepticism into the market.

“Ultimately there is always a characteristic of hype, market fall out, consolidation, then a lower growth vector built out of a more sophisticated and less flighty investment profile,” Jessel said.


Kumesh Aroomoogan, CEO of Accern, predicted Ethereum would be valued at about $1,400 by the end of 2018’s first quarter. Aroomoogan has lofty expectations for the future of Ethereum based on the technology that backs the cryptocurrency. “Ethereum is far superior to any other blockchain network,” he said. While the best technology doesn’t always win out in the end, the endorsement bodes well for Ethereum’s prospects. (Full disclosure: Kumesh Aroomoogan is invested in Ethereum personally.)

Robert Oscanyan, competitive intelligence manager at Jive Communications, told IBT hi firm primarily looks at information like adoption rate of cryptocurrency from consumers and institutions, market trends and government regulations when analyzing and predicting prices. Through his analysis, Oscanyan predicted Ethereum would hit $1,330 by the end of Q1 2018.

While that price would represent modest growth for Ethereum from where it currently stands—it wouldn’t even be a record high for the cryptocurrency—Oscanyan believes the cryptocurrency is establishing itself as the foundation for a number of institutional projects that could help produce steady growth.

The most conservative—and arguably pessimistic—view of Ethereum’s first quarter value came from Joshua Gordon-Blake, vice president of global partnerships at Pangea Money Transfer. He estimated Ethereum’s price would be $100 by the end of Q1, noting that the only real worthwhile measure of a cryptocurrency’s value in his eyes are its practical uses.

“For this reason, I favor Ethereum, Ripple, IOTA, Stellar and others that have at least one clearly outlined (and near term) use case,” he said, providing some positivity to the prediction that likely looks bleak to short-term investors.

Editor’s note: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrency is a risky type of digital asset and no one should invest more in bitcoin than they can afford to lose.