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Ethereum Rallies Ahead Of Hard Fork Implementation

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Ethereum's market capitalization is just shy of one billion dollars once again, with ETH rallying about 8 percent over the last 24 hours on frisky trading volume of $30.6 million. Firstplace cryptocurrency Bitcoin, for comparison's sake, is up about 0.5% over the same time period on volume of $78.4 million. At present values, Bitcoin's total market cap is about 10.5 times larger than that of Ethereum, which is only a year old.

The Ethereum community on Reddit seem to believe the hard fork will drop on or around July 20th, as that's when cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has set aside some time for the switchover to occur. ETH deposits and withdrawals on Kraken will be disabled for approximately one hour on the 20th "before the hard fork activates."

The hard fork is scheduled to kick in at block 1,920,000 and would reverse the malicious movement of more than $50,000,000 of Ether in a third party designed avant-garde economic project known as "the DAO," where a collective of users make real-time decisions on the viability of various projects, and fund the ones they favor. An unknown hacker manipulated an exploit in the DAO's code to steer the funds to an area of his choosing within the Ethereum.

It's important to note that although the DAO is not an official Ethereum project, it uses Ether currency to run its code, which is why the DAO hack had mired Ethereum in negative press for a few weeks. Despite this, users don't seem to be scared off; publicly viewable transaction data for Ethereum is on the rise, suggesting an uptake in usage around the world.

As I recently reported here, leading US Bitcoin services firm Coinbase is expected to add Ethereum direct buys later this month, making it easy for their 4.1 million customers to buy or sell Ether.

What can you do with this cryptocurrency newcomer that you can't do with Bitcoin? That's an excellent question! Watch my report below on some of the ways inventive coders are already using Ethereum's "smart contracts" system:

Full disclosure: Not financial advice, provided for educational purposes only. Not intended as a recommendation to buy or sell any cryptocurrency or asset. At time of publication, I do hold some bitcoins and ethers in my long term portfolio.

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