Crypto-currency coin Ethereum, like many others, has had its ups and downs. Photo: AFP
Like bitcoin, Ethereum has increased significantly in value since its introduction in 2015. Photo: AFP

All digital currencies have been in pain this year in what many have described as a “crypto winter.” Some, such as Bitcoin, have weathered the storm a little better, others like Ethereum have been in a world of hurt.

Ethereum has been touted as the ‘world’s computer’ for its ability to serve as a platform for decentralized applications (dApps). In order to do this job, it must scale with network demands, which it has failed to do successfully.

There are a number of developments in the project roadmap that will provide solutions, but delays in deployment due to technical difficulties have taken the shine off Ethereum for some.

This coupled with a constant threat from the US Securities and Exchange Commission cracking down on what it does and doesn’t deem security tokens have added to Ethereum’s woes, which have been reflected in its prices.

To complete the trifecta of pain, initial coin offering projects have been offloading their Ethereum holdings in order to recoup some of their losses. When these started up late last year, most of the fundraising was done in ETH, Ethereum’s native token.

Many of these ICO projects have been flooding the market with ETH as they cash out, which is more bad news for ETH prices.

Compared with 2017, Ethereum has had the year from hell, dropping about 94% from its all-time high to current prices. The lows were culminated on December 15 when Ethereum fell to $85, its lowest price for 18 months.

Things may have started to turn around for Ethereum now as it has made solid progress in what many have termed the ‘santa rally’ for digital currencies. Since that low point, Ethereum has made a recovery of about 76% to reach $150 during trading on Christmas Eve.

It seems that a price of about $100 has been irresistible for many traders, who have been used to dealing with it at far higher prices.

The Ethereum project may have slowed in recent months, but it is far from dead and buried despite the dismal market action. Work is still going on behind the scenes to implement scaling solutions, one of which is sharding, which uses horizontal scaling to take the load off the primary blockchain.

The updated roadmap details all of the steps necessary to get Ethereum 2.0 rolled out.

Crypto and blockchain professionals are now focusing on building the technology for the future rather than speculating on market prices. Those in it for the long run will have their heads down, while those wanting a quick buck will be watching the action as Ethereum and its brethren bounce back over the holiday season.