Ether, the native cryptocurrency of Ethereum, hit another all-time high of $4,634 on Wednesday, according to CoinGecko. In terms of growth, the price of ether has largely outperformed bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, this year.
It also has some well-known fans, including billionaire investor Mark Cuban.
"I have my fair share of bitcoin, but I'm more of an Ethereum maxi," Cuban said on a recent episode of the Next with Novo podcast. In the crypto space, calling someone a "maximalist" of a specific coin typically has a negative connotation, but Cuban uses the term to show that he favors Ethereum over other blockchains.
To Cuban, what makes Ethereum stand out is its utility. Not only is Ethereum the most used blockchain, but its smart contracts, which are collections of code, power most blockchain-based projects, from decentralized finance, or DeFi, applications to nonfungible tokens, or NFTs.
"We're seeing a rush where there's a lot of different blockchains that are competing," Cuban said. "When they start to put smart contracts to work, that's when we'll start to see things really level out. It's going to come down to applications and integrations."
"I like [ether] more [than bitcoin] because I can see an unlimited number of applications that will change the biz [and] consumer world forever," Cuban tweeted on Oct. 16. "And to use them, you need to buy [ether]."
However, despite Cuban's endorsement, it's important to remember that all cryptocurrencies come with risks due their volatile and speculative nature. Financial experts warn that investors should only invest what they can afford to lose.