Like bitcoin, Ethereum has increased significantly in value since its introduction in 2015. Photo: AFP

Ether, the second-largest crypto by market cap, could soar to $10,500 after surpassing its all-time high this week, according to Fundstrat Global Advisors.

Strategist David Grider’s prediction is partly based on the popularity of the related Ethereum blockchain for so-called decentralized finance application, Bloomberg reports. Ethereum is working on a network upgrade that is expected to enable it to process transaction volumes in the same ballpark as credit-card behemoths Mastercard and Visa.

Ether is “the best risk/reward investment play in crypto,” Grider declared in his Tuesday note, adding that “blockchain computing may be the future of the cloud.”

Decentralized finance, commonly known as DeFi, enables users to lend or borrow funds without the friction that comes with relying on banks. Many of the big DeFi applications are run on the Ethereum blockchain.

Ether rose in price from $109 at the bottom of the March crash to a new all-time high of $1,424 on January 19, according to CoinMarketCap. It’s price at the time of publication was $1,334.