ETHEREUM is shaking up the crypto world with a software update known as the "merge".

The change has meant a tumble in price with many wondering if the cryptocurrency can reach $5,000.

The merge, which took place this week, has eliminated the task of mining new coins on its blockchain.

Mining requires computing power, which means a huge energy consumption.

The Ethereum network should function just as it had before, but use significantly less electricity.

The change puts the cryptocurrency on a more environmentally sustainable path and, what some believe, more secure.

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The Ethereum network contains the entire community of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The cryptocurrency, which was released in 2015, was founded by eight people, one of which is 27-year-old Vitalik Buterin.

As well as being used as a cryptocurrency, developers can also build applications and run smart contracts on Ethereum.

Keen investors should be aware that it's not a guaranteed way to make money and you can lose all the cash you put in.

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In other words, don't invest more than you can afford to lose or into something you don't understand.

Cryptocurrencies are also especially volatile, and their values can crash at little to no notice.

There's scant regulation for crypto firms, so you'll likely be without protection if things go wrong.

What is the Ethereum price?

The price of Ethereum (ETH) is currently sitting at $1,452.90 – down by 8.21 percent over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.

Ethereum's all-time high is $4,891.70, which it traded at in November 2021.

Ethereum is the second largest coin that runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

However, it has struggled in the past month and is down by 22.07 percent, according to Coinbase.

There's no guarantee the price of Ethereum will rise to $5,000 – or even that it will rise at all as cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile.

Before Ethereum's all-time high in November 2021, its previous all-time high was in January 2018, when it hit $1,290.

Ethereum price predictions for 2022

How the price of Ethereum will change in the future is impossible to know for certain, but experts and investors have still made predictions.

According to a panel of 53 fintech experts on comparison site Finder, they expect Ethereum to sink further before rebounding to close out 2022, with the panel expecting lows of $675.

Finder added: "That's not to say they don't see it bouncing back, with the panel also seeing ETH top out at $2,673".

Furthermore, if price trends continue, they project that one ETH could be worth as much as $10,000 in 2025.

What is cryptocurrency?

CRYPTOCURRENCIES are a form of payment that can be exchanged for goods and services.

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CoinPriceForecast expects Ethereum to increase slightly to $1,808 by the end of 2022 and continue climbing to $2,332 by the end of 2024.

And WalletInvestor has a one-year forecast of $2836.454 and a five-year forecast of $7135.056.

Make sure you take these predictions with a pinch of salt though, as they're nowhere near guaranteed.

The cryptocurrency market is affected by a number of factors, including regulatory crackdowns and comments by high-profile individuals.

In other words, Ethereum could also drop in value, meaning you would lose money.

Currently, there are fears that governments around the globe could crack down on crypto with regulation.

We explain whether Ethereum could overtake Bitcoin in future.

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It comes after the values of Bitcoin and Ethereum fell in May after China announced a further crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

Plus check out, four things you need to know about Dogecoin.

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