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Ethereum hits new record!

Ethereum (ETH) token crossed the psychologically significant $3,000 per token threshold on Monday, rising as high as $3,300 on Binance. The price of ETH reached the milestone on several major exchanges, including Bybit, Coinbase and BitMEX.

The surge has helped Ethereum overtake institutions like The Walt Disney Company and Bank of America in terms of total market capitalization. The world's largest layer-one blockchain-enabled smart contract rose 24% in a week to $346.72 billion, according to tracking site Infinite Market Cap. By comparison, Bitcoin (BTC) now has a market cap of $1.079 trillion, just below silver's total market capitalization of $1.416 trillion and above Facebook's $923.12 billion.

The remarkable streak has even led to renewed speculation that Ether could "reverse" Bitcoin, overtaking BTC as the world's largest digital currency.

Several factors are responsible for Ethereum's rise. The first is the continued increase in activity on the blockchain, including from institutional players. Earlier this week, the European Investment Bank announced that it would issue a two-year, $121 million digital bond in partnership with banking entities such as Goldman Sachs. Retail interest in decentralized finance has also increased recently, with the total value of blockchain funds reaching a staggering $100+ billion.

However, the "London" hard fork, which includes the EIP-1559 overhaul of Ethereum's fee structure, along with the subsequent upcoming transition of Ethereum 2.0 to a proof-of-stake consensus model may be the major developments investors are waiting for. These network updates are expected to significantly lower fees, as well as reduce the amount of ETH allocated to miners - which in turn is expected to reduce sell-side pressure on the asset.

David Hoffman, host of educational media company Ethereum Bankless, equated the various initiatives to the equivalent of three separate "halvenings," events that occur roughly every four years when the Bitcoin block grant is cut in half. Halvenings are thought to contribute to Bitcoin's rising price.