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Ether prices reach new heights, while commentators have made solid forecasts for stablecoins in 2021. Elsewhere, we find a crypto trading platform giant is preparing its IPO – but could be giving current shareholders a chance to sell before going public.  

Cryptocurrency update 

Ether reaches new all-time high 

While Bitcoin appears to be stalling last week, the same could not be said for ether which posted new all-time highs on Sunday 24th January 2021.  

Ether prices hit over $1,454. exceeding the previously recorded all-time high of $1,439.33 set just the previous week. Prices settled back to around $1,447 but this still represented a 17% rise in the previous 24-hour period, as reported by Coindesk.  

While Bitcoin’s huge 2020 gains grabbed the headlines last year, ether has been outperforming its larger crypto cousin in 2021 so far, in terms of journeying towards all-time highs. Ether is up 88% year-to-date so far this year, whereas Bitcoin has risen 110.98% so far. 

Bulls may aim to break ether above $1,500, but the next support level is expected to be around $1,350. A major correction could also follow, but for now the outlook is relatively rosy for the crypto. 

Ether is the cryptocurrency used on the Ethereum platform. It is the second most valuable per-unit crypto available for trading. 

Could 2021 be a great year for stablecoins? 

Commentators believe 2021 could be the year stablecoins see further adoption outside of decentralised finance platforms and enter the mainstream. In doing so, market cap could potentially triple and exceed $100bn for the first time. 

Speaking to, Paolo Ardoino, Tether CTO, which issues the most popular stablecoin, tether, said that “2021 may be the year that stablecoins penetrate non-crypto markets more deeply, helping to increase mass adoption.” 

ContinuingArdoino predicts we’ll see differences between using stablecoins for transactions versus fiat utilisation, so “people will decide which to use based on how they can be leveraged in new financial systems. 

“As new users begin to enter into the marketplace and their knowledge increases, they may turn to stablecoins as a store of value. This could have interesting implications for those holding cash on their balance sheets.” 

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that attempt to peg their market value to an external reference, i.e. US dollars or gold. It’s thought that with this approach, stablecoin prices should be subject to less volatility than other tokens.  

Market cap of the stablecoins, which includes tokens like tether, USD coin, and Dai, jumped sixfold in 2020, now exceeding $35 billion. Could it nearly triple again this year? 

Coinbase to sell shares privately ahead of IPO? 

San Francisco-based Coinbase, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the US, may be preparing to sell shares via Nasdaq’s private market ahead of its IPO.  

The company filed its S-1 initial public offering with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Now rumours are flying that Coinbase shareholders that it will be offering a second market for private stock. If true, it is thought this move will allow current and former employees with vested equity in the firm to sell shares.  

Coinbase owns some of the largest crypto holdings in the world, reportedly controlling Bitcoin and ether assets under manage (AUM) worth $40bn with its total crypto AUM portfolio worth somewhere in the region of $90bn. 

There have been conflicting reports of Coinbase’s overall company valuation ahead of its IPO.  Some reports estimate Coinbase is worth $28bn, whereas others have it valued at $70bn. Sources report Coinbase will be working with Goldman Sachs to implement its public offering. It could possibly be offering a direct listing, rather than a standard IPO. 

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