KEY POINTS

  • There are now more addresses with at least one ether on the Ethereum network
  • The excitement surrounding DeFi has greatly benefitted Ethereum
  • The total locked value on DeFi is now worth $13.89 billion

The number of addresses holding at least one ether has hit 1.1 million, a new all-time high for the second-largest cryptocurrency.

The uptick in addresses started in mid-2017, coupled with ETH's increase in price up to its all-time high of around $1,300. From then onward it was a slow grind but it breaches past 1 million again in early 2020, according to the chart shared by Glassnode on Twitter.

While active addresses do not represent the number of users – because users (and entities) can own multiple addresses – it still indicates the health of the industry, news outlet Decrypt reported. More people owning a specific cryptocurrency could lead to a "network effect," attracting even more users. 

Ethereum has benefited greatly from the hype surrounding decentralized finance, which are financial products that sought to use smart contracts to eliminate reliance on central intermediaries like banks and brokerages. Last summer, a lot of decentralized finance tokens saw their prices increasing fast, with tokens like YFI even reaching above $40,0000. Other coins, like UNI, were "airdropped" to anyone who interacted with the UniSwap protocol.

After that period, most decentralized finance tokens started experiencing a decline, with some of them losing 90% of their value by October. Part of the challenge is the uncertainty regarding how this new type of financial ecosystem will be regulated under the current financial rules and regulations. 

At the time of this writing, the total locked assets on DeFi are worth $13.89 billion, the majority of which is locked on the Ethereum network.

Ethereum closed at $471 Thursday, two days after reaching its 2020 high of $482. While Bitcoin really has left observers excited, Ethereum did not see more massive price swings. Still, Ethereum has breached past $500 and if it stays there, it could present a new 2020 high for the second-largest cryptocurrency.

ethereum-crypto-bitcoin-ripple-digital-currency-blockchain-getty_large Cryptocurrency Photo: Getty