The Ethereum price broke $400 for only the second time in its history on Thursday, setting a new all time high early on Thanksgiving morning in the U.S.
A rival cryptocurrency to Bitcoin, Ethereum rose as high as about $425 Thursday, a gain of more than 16% in a 24-hour period. Until then, the Ethereum price had for months hovered below its previous peak in June, when it had briefly surpassed $400 for the first time.
The surge came as the billionaire cryptocurrency investor Mike Novogratz, a former hedge fund manager on Wall Street, reversed his bearish prediction on Ethereum. In June, shortly after Ethereum first hit $400, Novogratz had sold much of the cryptocurrency he owned, saying “I think we may have put the highs in for the year in Ethereum, and you’re going to slowly consolidate.”
Novogratz’s call turned out to be prescient, and the Ethereum price did not revisit its earlier highs—that is, until this week, when the influential investor suddenly turned bullish again.
“Just in the last few days Ethereum has started to move, and I actually think it’s going to put a new high soon,” Novogratz said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Tuesday. It took less than 48 hours for the Ethereum price to prove Novogratz right again.
“I think we end the year at close to $500 in Ethereum,” he predicted, adding that the Bitcoin price, which reached as high as $8,300 this week, would hit $10,000 before 2017 comes to a close. “There’s a lot of positive things happening in the Ethereum ecosystem,” added Novogratz, who has recently begun raising money for his new cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund.
The Ethereum price has already risen more than 50 times this year. To reach $500 before 2017 is out, Ethereum would need to rise another 25% from the $400 mark where it was trading early Thursday morning—all in a little more than a month.
Fueling the rally is increasing business interest in the Ethereum blockchain, which can be used to build applications with uses beyond digital currencies. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE, -7.15%), for one, recently demonstrated an application using the Ethereum protocol to power iRobot’s Roomba vacuum cleaner.