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The strong showing being witnessed in the price of rival cryptocurrencies appears to also be spreading to ether, which is increasingly drawing close to record levels set last year.

The value of the cryptocurrency behind the Ethereum blockchain has reached its highest level in about eight weeks.

Data from CoinMarketCap showed the price of ether surged by as high as 59 percent during the week that ended March 3. CoinDesk reported it rising to $20.67 about 10:44 (UTC) on the Friday.

Although the price later retreated, it was still around 50 percent higher for the week.

The price had opened at just a little above $13 on Feb. 25.

The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance effect

It is believed that the strong showing in ether prices is not unconnected with the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance that was launched recently. The consortium has many top names in financial, software and oil and gas industries as its members. It aims at creating a private version of Ethereum for enterprise purposes.

Market analysts told CoinDesk that the new initiative, without doubt, has contributed to push the price of ether near its all-time highs.

“The launch of the Alliance definitely fueled most of the price increase,” Crypto Asset Management Chairman Tim Enneking said. “Anything that increases the legitimacy and stability of an altcoin will cause its price to increase, sometimes dramatically.”

COO Petar Zivkovski of the leveraged virtual currency trading platform Whaleclub added that the moves of the new consortium have “re-ignited hope and legitimacy in ethereum.”

Such legitimacy is quite important for a blockchain technology that has been faced with uncertainty and considerable controversies in recent years.

Under the radar

The improved price performance of ether has, however, not had the kind of effect that would have ordinarily been expected. It has seemingly gone largely unnoticed. More attention appears to be towards bitcoin and dash, two digital currencies whose prices recently reached record levels.

Media focus has been more on bitcoin in particular as it set new all-time highs in recent weeks. Bullish market sentiment has impacted positively on both trading volume and price.

After more than three years of being below its record price levels, the leading cryptocurrency has recorded strings of new highs recently. Its price even surpassed that of an ounce of gold, which has for long being the preferred go-to asset, for the first time in history last week.

The price of dash has also risen tremendously in the past several weeks. It gained more than 75 percent in the last full week in February, according to CoinMarketCap figures. The price has risen by more than 200 percent over the previous month.

On March 2, the price of dash reached its highest ever level of $58.90. CoinDesk reported that it had opened at a price slightly over $26 on Feb. 25. The token’s value essentially increased by more than 100 percent in less than a week in this case.

Explanations have been offered by analysts for the strong performance seen in price. But there is no agreement on a definite reason behind the impressive showing.