Back on November 28th, 2013 Litecoin hit $48. 

Another less known coin names 42 (forty two) exploded to a value of $359,752 USD per coin in January 2014 which is more than any other virtual currency has ever been valued at and as recently as this year 42-Coin hit well over $800 USD. Darkcoin hit $16.01 in June of 2014.

Thus far in Ether's nearly 1 year history it's high was earlier this year hitting just above $14 making it the 5th most valuable coin of all time and that's with the best effort of locating the prices of well over 1000 digital currencies. It's possible we missed more than one other.

Now before any Ethereum supporters start screaming about this article, for the record we fully support Ether and Ethereum. It's an exciting network we've been waiting on for a long time. Ether's value however, needs a bit of a reality check and the comparisons to bitcoin the mainstream media have been headlining are ridiculous.

This may not always be the case but as of today, April 11th, 2016, Ether is worth $8 and comparing it to Bitcoin is like comparing a marble to a planet.

While Litecoin and 42 had significant long runs at well over $8, which is what Ether is currently worth ($8.05 at the time of this writing), only Litecoin had enough market cap and volume to be useful. 42 was usable as a currency for a short period of time but seems nothing more than a novelty now (albeit still closing over $100 USD).

The current prices of the top coins puts Ether in 4th place.

Current Digital Asset Values
The other thing to keep in mind is that Ether is not a public digital currency, its a token for Ethereum much like bitcoin is a token for the blockchain but used as token and not a digital currency. Litecoin is an example of a pure digital currency. Bitcoin started out a digital currency but has become both a digital currency and token as more and more applications are built on the blockchain,

When we consider this we can see why the market caps are what they are and why Ether has a high one as does Ripple for the same reasoning.

Digital Asset Market Caps

There's going to be allot of Ether very quick much like Ripple and less Litecoin for example since Litecoin is a digital currency and used as such whereas Ether is Ethereum's token for use of its network for smart contracts.

As previously stated, comparing Ether to Bitcoin is like comparing a marble to a planet. It's not realistic or even an accurate thing to compare right now.

Markets such as Litecoin, Ripple, and Dash are more comparable in value, capitalization, and use however Ether has yet to achieve a fair market value of 4 or more other assets of its type so it makes the comparison even more silly.

Cautiously Optimistic

Ethereum is an exciting project and we fully support and encourage its use. It's been long awaited and it's great to see its arrival but from an investment perspective, cautiously optimistic is the best approach.

That said, day traders certainly may be want to try and cash in on its extreme volatility much like they once did with bitcoin.

On the flip side, volatility of its market rate of Ether could inadvertently hurt Ethereum and its price for the same reasons use of the blockchain unpinning bitcoin was a moving target for many years until its price stabilized.

At the end of the day, Ether and Ethereum are fantastic additions to the industry, but its not even a year old so taking a realistic approach on investments into Ether as an asset should be carefully considered using caution for anything outside of a day trade.

Story by dinbits
Banner image by staff

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