Ethereum, a decentralized blockchain platform, is demonstrating an upward trend now, with the price of digital currency reaching nearly $15.

Ether, the virtual currency of the Ethereum platform, has been attracting a lot of media attention over the last days. ETH price has significantly escalated, showing a 15-fold rise in almost half a year.

In December, the price of bitcoin rival amounted to around $0.90, but is now approaching $14. At the moment, Ether is the fastest growing digital currency. It is the second cryptocurrency after bitcoin in terms of market capitalization – $1.1 billion against $6.9 billion.

Many attribute the cryptocurrency’s increase to the growth of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) based on the Ethereum platform.

Also known as the Decentralized Autonomous Corporation (DAC), the entity enables market players to provide finances for startups in exchange for voting rights. The organization doesn’t require human participation as it is run by a computer code letting developers to write smart contracts.

Launched in April, the project has already raised over $160 million, what makes it the most well-funded cryptocurrency organization so far.

DAO accepts only Ether, so in order to make an investment users need to convert their fiat money into these tokens. The organization accounts for 14% of all Ether in circulation.

In March, Ethereum unveiled the second version of its smart contract-enabled network Frontier. Called Homestead, the system was praised by the leading financial institutions and banks. It is an improved version of the previous network, as the team solved the technical issues experienced by its users and miners. The launch also contributed to the growth of ETH price.

Rising Usage of Ethereum Platfrom

Created by Russian Canadian entrepreneur Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is becoming more popular among financial traders and cryptocurrency developers.

Last week, Coinbase announced the integration of Ether into its trading platform. The move enabled users to hold and secure Ether and other crypto-assets built on the platform, as well as write, deploy and use smart contracts.

“We have seen hundreds of emerging decentralized apps (applications) launched on Ethereum,” said Adam White, vice president of business development at Coinbase. “What’s powerful about ethereum is that I can write self-executing contracts and I can run them on Ethereum and it’s not on any central server or computer.”

Ethereum is one of the most promising projects within the blockchain industry, according to the CEO of bitcoin exchange CEX.IO, Oleksandr Lutskevych. Last month, the company launched Ether trading, allowing users to buy and sell the digital currency for bitcoin and US dollars.

Still, some consider the current growth of ETH price won’t last long and will start decreasing once DAO’s creation is finished.

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