Ethereum has risen in value by 356pc this year, nearly six times Bitcoin’s 62pc rise, to $3,333 per token, compared to the $47,500 cost of Bitcoin. 

Ethereum is a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, which runs on its own “blockchain”, an online ledger which tracks the transfer of information. Ethereum’s blockchain is increasingly being touted as the future of digital assets as, unlike Bitcoin’s, it allows for other applications to be run on its software.  

It was created by Vitalik Buterin in 2013, a developer who was just 19 at the time. His vision was for a decentralised payment network, with its own cryptographic currency, that allowed anonymous payments to be sent across the internet without the need for a bank or other third party.

A number of apps are being built on Ethereum’s blockchain, and the network is also being used by start-ups to raise money with initial coin offerings, which exchange Ethereum or other currencies for special “tokens” that grant access to a service.  

Should I buy Ethereum and how can I do so safely? 

The same arguments for buying or avoiding Bitcoin can be applied to Ethereum. Sceptics argue that cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value, could face regulatory hurdles which would block people from buying them, and are too volatile to ever become a reliable store of value or medium of exchange.   

Fans counter that trust in cryptocurrencies is built on their “incorruptible” blockchain ledgers and a limited supply of coins, which…

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