The price of ether ( ETH -0.15% ), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, could reach $8,000 by the end of 2026 from its current price of around $1,600, according to Standard Chartered Bank.
"We think Ethereum’s established dominance in smart contract platforms, along with emerging uses in gaming and tokenization, has the potential to push ETH to the $8,000 level by end-2026 (a 5x multiple from the current price of $1,600)," Geoffrey Kendrick, head of forex and crypto research at Standard Chartered Bank, said in a report on Wednesday.
The expected $8,000 mark for ETH is viewed as an initial step on the road toward the bank's previously stated "long-term structural valuation" range of $26,000 to $35,000, Kendrick said. While that long-term valuation assumes Ethereum's future use cases and revenue streams that may not have emerged yet, the real-world use cases of gaming and tokenization should support their development, according to Kendrick.
'Ethereum to cement its dominance'
Ethereum Layer 2 scaling networks are also likely to grow, mainly because of Ethereum's upcoming technical upgrades, such as proto-danksharding, that would help lower transaction fees on these platforms, Kendrick said. That, in turn, should "help to cement Ethereum’s dominance in the smart contract space, thereby increasing its P/E ratio (if not its earnings) over the next couple of years," he added.
The upcoming bitcoin halving around April 2024 should also help all digital assets, especially ETH, the second-largest cryptocurrency, according to Kendrick. "Subsequently, potential regulation and spot ETFs in the U.S. should benefit ETH as much as BTC +2.15% ; we pencil this in for late 2024, after the U.S. election," he added.
All these factors can potentially push the ETH price to $4,000 by the end of 2024, according to Kendrick, which is still below ETH's previous peak price of $4,866, achieved in late 2021.
In April of this year, Kendrick also estimated a bold $100,000 price for bitcoin by the end of 2024, saying that "crypto winter is finally over." The current price of bitcoin is around $27,300.
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