The last few months have been rough for cryptocurrency, as the majority of cryptos have watched their prices take a nosedive. After reaching an all-time high in mid-November, the price of Ethereum (ETH 5.31%) had dropped by nearly 50% by the end of January. While this volatility can be nerve-wracking for investors, it can also be a fantastic opportunity to "buy the dip," or invest when prices are at their lowest.
Ethereum's price has started to rebound, however, up close to 30% from its lowest point last month. If the crypto's price is climbing once again, now could be a smart buying opportunity. Is now the right time to invest?
Is Ethereum a good investment?
Ethereum is one of the stronger investments in the crypto space, primarily because it's the largest platform for decentralized applications (dApps), which include everything from non-fungible token (NFT) marketplaces to decentralized finance (DeFi) applications and more. They could potentially revolutionize a variety of industries, from banking to finance to the collectibles market.
Because Ethereum is the largest player in this space, it has a leg up over other platforms that also host dApps, such as Solana and Avalanche.
One area where Ethereum struggles, however, is its proof of work (PoW) mining protocol. This is the method it uses to verify transactions, and it's incredibly energy-intensive and time-consuming. As a result, the network is slower than its competitors, with a speed of just 14 transactions per second, compared to Solana's whopping 65,000 transactions per second. It's also more expensive, with much higher transaction fees.
That said, Ethereum is working on an update to move it to a proof of stake (PoS) protocol. Once this update is complete (which should happen later this year or next year), it will be significantly faster and more affordable. In fact, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin announced that after its update, Ethereum should be able to process up to 100,000 transactions per second.
Should you invest now?
Ethereum has a lot of promising developments in the pipeline, and its update could give it an even stronger edge over its competitors. However, it's important to keep in mind that, like all cryptocurrencies, it's still speculative at this point.
Its most significant advantage is its dApp platform. In order for it to succeed, though, the general public will need to be willing to accept these types of applications. If NFTs and DeFi prove to be just a short-term fad, Ethereum may struggle.
It's impossible to say what the future holds for crypto. With projects like the metaverse gaining widespread attention (which could rely heavily on networks like Ethereum), there's a chance cryptocurrency is here to stay. But nobody knows for certain, so crypto is still a high-risk investment for now.
If you choose to invest in Ethereum, make sure you're only investing an amount you can afford to lose. Also, because crypto will very likely experience more volatility in the coming months and years, be prepared to weather more ups and downs. If you're willing to take on higher levels of risk, Ethereum could be a promising long-term investment.