Ether, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, hits a new record high above $1,700

Ether, the digital token of the Ethereum blockchain, is the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market value.

Jaap Arriens | NurPhoto via Getty Images

LONDON — The cryptocurrency ether hit a fresh all-time high on Friday, surging past $1,700 for the first time.

Ether, which is the world’s second-largest digital coin by market value, climbed 4.8% to a price of $1,720 just after 8:50 a.m. ET, according to data from CoinDesk.

It comes after bitcoin, the most valuable virtual currency, hit a record high close to $42,000 last month.

Bitcoin more than quadrupled in price over the course of 2020, and is up 29% since the start of 2021. Ether is up about 129% year-to-date.

It comes ahead of the highly-anticipated launch of ether futures contracts from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange next week.

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