Although the wider cryptocurrency market is down over the last few days, Ethereum (ETH) has been a strong investment for much of 2021, with its price rising more than five times in value from the start of the year to hit an all-time high of $4,357 last week, according to data from CoinGecko.
ETH has also proven to be a solid investment on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) this year—but, apparently to the surprise of some investors, that’s not the same thing. In fact, that ETH has nothing to do with Ethereum or cryptocurrency at all. It’s the ticker for Ethan Allen Interiors, an 89-year-old American furniture retailer.
Ethan Allen’s stock price is up almost 50% since the start of 2021, now hovering at about $30 a share—a price that the company hasn’t seen since late 2017. While the company recently reported a strong quarter as the economy improves and people get back to work, there is some indication that certain investors are hearing “Buy ETH” and mistakenly buying stock in a furniture retailer rather than cryptocurrency.
“We’ve definitely seen a massive increase on a percentage basis in mistaken activity on the Ethan Allen stream,” Rishi Khanna, CEO of investment social media platform Stocktwits, told The Wall Street Journal. According to the report, Ethan Allen’s stock has seen 56% higher turnover over the last month than its five-year average, which suggests that a lot more people are getting into (and out of) investments.
Naturally, the internet is having fun with the mix-up. Ethan Allen’s stock price rise has been pretty gradual over the course of 2021 so far, so there’s no indication of GameStop-like concerted pumping. However, user comments like, “In the year 2030, all transactions will be settled digitally with Ethan Allen interiors stock,” suggest that some are finding humor within the potential mix-ups.
Aside from the general market downturn over the last few days, Ethereum has been on a steady bull run in recent months, even surging of late while Bitcoin stalled. Ethereum continually set new all-time highs in April and early May, and even with a seven-day decline of 16%, the price of the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is up more than 35% in the last 30 days.
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Ethereum’s recent surge has come via a number of potential factors, including rising demand for decentralized finance (DeFi) and crypto collectibles tokenized as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). There is also optimism about Ethereum exchange-traded funds (ETFs), with Canada launching its first such investment vehicles in April. VanEck recently filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to try and launch the first one in the US.
Additionally, the process of converting Ethereum to a less-energy-intensive proof-of-stake model via Ethereum 2.0 continues. Meanwhile, this summer’s London hard fork upgrade could improve the network by overhauling its fee structure and expanding block capacity to help ease congestion. The new structure will also “burn” transaction fees rather than pay them to miners, trimming the supply and potentially benefiting the long-term price of ETH.