Digital currency Ethereum has hit $1,000 for the first time in its history on the same day that the overall cryptocurrency market cap jumped past $770bn.
Despite its record high, Ethereum is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market value after recently losing its second place slot to Ripple's XRP last week. According to data from CoinMarketCap, XRP's lead has grown to more than $40 billion in the last day.
The largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Bitcoin, in comparison dropped from its week's high of $15,393. It was down about 4% on the Bitstamp exchange at around $14,500 having lost more than a quarter of its value since hitting record highs in mid-December.
Prices since have stayed in the $13,000 to $14,000 range interrupted briefly with a drop to nearly $12,000 on December 30.
The non-profit Ethereum Foundation is now launching two new subsidy programs to boost research into the scalability and development of Ethereum.
Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin said in a blog post on Tuesday that Blockchain scalability is difficult primarily because a typical blockchain design requires every node in the network to process every transaction that limits the transaction processing capacity of the entire system to the capacity of a single node.
Unlike the bitcoin blockchain, Ethereum is designed specifically to carry out “smart contracts” that are automated agreements for an exchange of value. Smart contracts are a way to cut the middleman out of financial transactions; a network of nodes carry out agreements by independently verifying them.
The Ethereum blockchain not only records every ether transaction, but also the most up-to-date form of every smart contract.