Ether, the digital currency that powers the smart contract-based blockchain platform ethereum, rose to its highest price of the year today.
In total, the cryptocurrency surged close to 20% on digital currency exchange Poloniex against both USDT and BTC during today’s session, rising to as much as $13.40 for a gain of 18.7% from the opening price.
Ether enjoyed even stronger gains relative to larger cryptocurrency bitcoin, as ETH/BTC reached 0.0135 BTC, a 19.5% increase for the day.
Analysis shows the combination of a strong pickup in trading volume combined with a highly leveraged market helped intensify gains.
ETH/USD’s 24-hour trading trading volume surpassed $40m on CoinMarketCap during the session, a contrast to a high of $8m the day before.
Poloniex data painted a similar picture, as ETH/BTC trading volume reached nearly 50,000 ETH early in the 14th February session after rising to only as much as 16,725 ETH the day before.
One factor that coincided with the rise in ether prices included a decline in the short interest in the ETH/BTC pair, according to data provided by leveraged digital currency trading platform Whaleclub.
While the market for this cryptocurrency pair was 65% short on 13th February, this figure had fallen to 50% on 14th February.
ETH is not a highly liquid market, and this could have helped accelerated the digital currency’s sharp price increases, analysts said.
Another development that may have helped push ether prices higher was a 13th February report indicating that major banks JP Morgan and Banco Santander had joined a still-secretive initiative called Enterprise Ethereum said to focus on the enterprise uses of the ethereum protocol.
Analysts further credited a delayed reaction to the news as a possible impetus for the price increase.
Basketball hoop image via Shutterstock