The price of Ethereum has barreled through $4,000 a coin - rising alongside Bitcoin and other popular cryptocurrencies. Ethereum was last traded Tuesday in out-of-hours action at $4,036 a coin, according to Morningstar and Coinbase.

Ethereum is holding on to gains - but not by much. It closed Monday at $4,109 a unit. At 11.30 GMT May 7 it was at $3,469 each - up 18.5%.

Ethereum has risen this year - propelled by the boom in decentralized finance applications which allow cryptocurrency-denominated lending outside traditional banking. Many DeFi applications are embedded in the Ethereum blockchain.

Vitalik Buterin and a group of other software developers founded Ethereum in 2013. It was officially launched in 2015 and traded for almost $2. 

The cryptocurrency reached a high of $4,214 Monday, according to CoinDesk, a news site specializing in cryptocurrencies.

Ethereum is now the second biggest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $458 billion, Coingecko's chart shows.

Once in the shadow of Bitcoin, the biggest cryptocurrency in the world, ether has seen parabolic gains recently as investors look to other cryptocurrencies for returns.

Cryptocurrencies have "got a lot more institutional involvement than people who have not followed the market believe," Reuters quoted Chris Weston, director of research at brokerage Pepperstone, as saying.

In a research report Monday, blockchain data provider Glassnode said there are signs that a large chunk of bitcoin capital is rotating toward ethereum and Dogecoin, which fell 10% at 48.2 cents, based on CoinGecko figures.

Ethereum has advanced more than 400% year-to-date, after opening 2021 below $750, additional CoinDesk figures show.

Meanwhile, an expert panel has predicted ether will balloon to nearly $20,000 by 2025, with "major upgrades" to the Ethereum network potentially lifting the cryptocurrency higher, Forbes reported.

But BitBull Capital chief operating officer Sarah Bergstrand sees it differently. She says Ethereum will rocket to a staggering $100,000 by 2025.