AlphaBay, one of the leading dark web markets, announced March 18 that they would be initiating acceptance of Ethereum’s token, ether, as a supported cryptocurrency on their website. Ether will be joining the ranks of bitcoin and monero and will be fully operational on May 1, 2017.
Ethereum’s cryptocurrency, ether, is already at an all-time high, and with the announcement of acceptance into a large vendor, would add further fuel into setting ether to new heights.
In fact, WIRED even did an article on the astronomical rise that Monero experienced following the announcement that markets like Oasis and AlphaBay would start accepting Monero. As a refresher, 2016 was a good year for crypto overall, with Bitcoin up 100 percent, Ethereum started at under $1.00 and ended trading at around $8.00, but Monero took the cake with its rise from $0.47 to around $13.50, a 28.7x increase.
The website displays the option to use Ethereum alongside Monero and Bitcoin in users settings, but clearly states that “Ethereum deposits/withdrawals will be live on May 1, 2017.”
While it is always good for a vendor to provide the consumer more options in which to pay goods and services for, especially with bitcoin, its current network state, and exuberant transaction fees, Ethereum is not the best when it comes to anonymity.
However, Alphabay may have made the decision based on the anticipation of the implementation of privacy using Raiden, Ethereum’s version of Lightning Networks. A minimum viable product for Raiden is expected March 2017, which would go some way toward scaling the network and the enabling privacy so that single transfers do not show up on the shared global ledger.
Also, at Ethereum’s DevCon2 in September 2016, it was announced that Zcash would be integrated with Ethereum, connecting to two blockchains to facilitate the applications that require programmability as well as privacy. In an update on the integration of Zcash into Ethereum’s blockchain in January 2017, Christian Reitwiessner stated:
“Achieving the mentioned functionalities – creating anonymous tokens and verifying Zcash transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, will require implementing other elements used by Zcash in Solidity.”
On the day of Alphabay’s announcement, Zcash peaked at $90.52, the highest level so far in 2017. Also, notice that volumes are rising substantially in recent days as compared to January and February 2017, suggesting greater interest from traders and investors. The altcoin has since retreated to $75.40, where a break of the recent high at $90.52 will open up more gains for ZEC-USD.
Monero will still be preferred, or even Bitcoin through a mixer. Zcash has also been stated a couple of times in the Reddit thread on /r/AlphaBayMarket, even though it is not currently accepted by AlphaBay.
Ethereum's cryptocurrency has responded positively to the news it seems, with prices currently at $43.52, still down from the peaks of the $51.90, but not far off either and bounced from the $32 handle over the weekend. By the end of March, we should see Ethereum introduce Raiden to better accommodate the growing user base interested in financial privacy.