SINGAPORE (REUTERS) – Cryptocurrency ether extended gains to another record peak on Tuesday (May 4), after breaking above US$3,000 (S$3,988) for the first time a day earlier as investors bet on its growing utility.

Early in Asia trade it traded as high as US$3,457.64 on the bitstamp exchange, for a session rise of about 17 per cent.

Traders have attributed the gains – which amount to some 365 per cent for the year to date – to a catch up on bitcoin’s late 2020 leap and as upgrades to the ethereum blockchain make it more useful.

The ether/bitcoin cross rate stood at its highest in more than two-and-a-half years on Tuesday while bitcoin was steady at US$57,295.