South Korea is driving the trade with over 60 percent of buying happening in Korean won. Lawmakers in South Korea are looking to regulate ethereum and bitcoin which is buoying sentiment.
At the same time, there has been huge hype around so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs). ICOs are a way for start-ups to raise money from users, similar to crowdfunding, by allowing them to buy a stake. In return, the user will receive a token or digital currency, which are equivalent to shares in the firm. ICO money in June and July surpassed early stage venture capital and angel funding.
Many of the firms doing an ICO are blockchain start-ups built on the ethereum blockchain. The ethereum blockchain is particularly useful for so-called smart contracts which are automatically executed when certain conditions are met.
The number of transactions in a single day using ethereum also hit a record high this week, according to industry website Etherscan, showing the traction the digital currency is getting.