Ether Price Eyes Potential Upside as Foundation Awards $3 Million in Grants

Ethereum is eyeing a potential breakout on Wednesday, as prices continue to flirt with a key technical threshold that could induce bigger gains in the short term. On a fundamental note, the Ethereum Foundation has announced a new wave of grants aimed at incentivizing development of the network.

ETH/USD Update

Ether’s price reached a high of $217.07 on Bitfinex but has since consolidated around $212. Values are down roughly 1.5% over 24 hours. The second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap has seen daily trade volumes of $1.5 billion, according to latest available data. The biggest markets for ether are ETH/KRW, ETH/BTC and ZEC/USD.

The ETH price is testing the 50-day moving average and a break above this level could ignite a bigger short-term rally. Stable market conditions following Monday’s sharp rise also suggest that an upside break is possible. One area of weakness is momentum, or a lack thereof. The relative strength index (RSI) on the daily chart currently resides below 50, which is a neutral marker for the ETH/USD cross.A return above the daily high would likely be met with sharp resistance in the $220-$225 region.

The broader cryptocurrency market was down slightly on Wednesday as trade volumes returned to normal. At the time of writing, the overall market cap was worth just over $209 billion.

Ethereum Foundation Announces New Grants

The Ethereum Foundation has selected 20 individuals and groups for its Wave 4 Grant Program, which offers development funds to community members in support of the network’s underlying objectives. A total of $3 million has been allocated to community members focused on the following core objectives: scalability, security, usability (DevEx), #BUDL, Hackternships and client diversity.

The largest grant, valued at $500,000, was awarded to Prysmatic Labs and Status, who will be working on client diversity. Prototypal was awared 375,000 for front-end state channel R&D tied to Ethereum’s scalability objectives.

Development grants were launched back in 2015 to scale up the Ethereum network and offer community members more opportunity to contribute to the project. The grant program focuses exclusively on efforts already underway rather than new initiatives.

Earlier this year, several major blockchain projects joined hands to form the Ethereum Capital Fund, offering even larger grants for development. OmiseGo and Golem are among the projects contributing to this initiative.

Concerns over scalability, competition and the unwinding of the ICO boom are weighing heavily on the Ethereum Foundation. These and other concerns have contributed to a steep drop in ether’s price-per-token despite growing use cases in government and industry.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi