The price of ether (ETH) fell below $8 for the first time since April today, dropping to its lowest total in almost seven months.

Overall, ether prices suffered slight fluctuations for the day’s trading, falling to as little as $7.88 at 08:34 UTC. The decline in price followed a spate of tech challenges for the ethereum network, which recently suffered an unexpected fork.

Problems began last week, when ethereum underwent its fourth planned hard fork this year, which was officially triggered on 22nd November. Technical challenges picked up shortly after, as Geth and Parity, two major ethereum clients, did not implement the same logic for the upgrade.

The result now appears to be there is a belief among traders and analysts that the decline below the $8 mark could be an important milestone.

Petar Zivkovski, director of operations for leveraged bitcoin trading platform Whaleclub, went so far as to argue that the platform may be entering a “crisis” in terms of perception.

Zivkovski told CoinDesk:

“Beyond the technical issues, ether is also displaying lackluster usage and a less than expected growth in their developer community.”

No long-term threat

But while Zivkovski pointed out the network’s technical problems, algorithmic trader Jacob Eliosoff put these difficulties in a different perspective, telling CoinDesk that he believes they don’t pose a threat to the platform.

Smart contracts, he argued, are still an innovation largely novel to ethereum, one that has made inroads with major institutions in recent quarters.

“The recent technical glitches aren’t serious: they haven’t cost anyone significant money (price drop aside) and aren’t outside the bounds of reasonable expectations for such a young ambitious project,” he said.

ARK Invest analyst also Chris Burniske pointed to encouraging signs for the network, citing the diversification of its mining pools and other fundamentals.

“Unique address growth has continued to steadily increase, conveying to me that developers have continued uninterrupted in their experimentation with ethereum,” Burniske said.

Future outlook

As for what the future holds for ethereum, market experts seemed split.

Zivkovski said while the platform holds potential, he believes there have yet to be any significant products built on the platform.

On the other hand, entrepreneur and investor Vinny Lingham told CoinDesk that ether prices have long been overvalued, emphasizing both the cryptocurrency’s technical challenges ahead and his belief that the ether supply is rising too quickly.

“The number of new ether being mined per day as a proportion of current ether in the market is too high,” he told CoinDesk.

Lingham is not alone in stating that ether is overpriced, as other market observers have indicated similar sentiment via Twitter and social blogging platforms.

Balloon in the storm image via Shutterstock

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