Ether climbs to an all-time high amid a broader altcoin rally, as crypto investors hope they might outperform Bitcoin

Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the most used blockchain, climbed to an all-time high amid surging use of the Ethereum network for everything from non-fungible tokens to decentralized-finance applications. 

The second-largest digital currency by market value—behind only Bitcoin—gained as much as 3.5% to $4,403.93, topping the previous record of $4,379.62 reached in May. Other smaller tokens including Binance Coin and Solana rallied, rekindling expectations for outperformance of so-called altcoins compared with Bitcoin. 

Ethereum has long passed Bitcoin as the most used blockchain, with the protocol serving as the backbone of popular projects such as MakerDAO and Uniswap that can be layered over the network with software programs know as smart contracts. More than 3,000 decentralized apps, know as Dapps, run on the Ethereum blockchain. The network’s Altair upgrade activated successfully earlier this week, Ethereum 2.0 developer Preston Van Loon said on Twitter.

Ether’s recent rally could be a sign of a new season in crypto investing—what crypto enthusiasts call “alt season.” Tokens such as Polkadot and Solana have been among some of the best-performing cryptocurrencies this year. 

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