Ethereum (ETH) has breached the $300 mark for the first time in nearly 9 months as the cryptocurrency market sell-off accelerates.

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The price of ETH has dropped more than 28% over the last week and currently stands at $284, with a market capitalization of $28.86 billion. Despite the massive losses, ETH is still currently ranked 2nd in the AltDex 100 Index (ALT100), a benchmark index for large-cap cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Making matters worse, the competitors are beginning to creep up on Ethereum, as multiple smart contract platforms have made significant strides in the past few months.

Last month, TRON (TRX) CEO Justin Sun is on record claiming that TRON has achieved a TPS of 12,000, far exceeding Ethereum’s current rate of 15 to 20. More recently, aelf (ELF), a decentralized ‘Cloud Operating System’ designed to act as a central hub for all Blockchains, revealed that its testnet has hit 14,968 TPS.

Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao also recently stated that he sees new smart contract platforms, including EOS (EOS), Tezos (XTZ) and the upcoming Dfinity, at a competitive advantage against Ethereum. He believes that these projects are poised for long-term success because Ethereum’s development is too slow to stay the top project.

A recent report indicates that the Chinese government’s China Electronic Information Industry Development (CCID) department has added Tezos and Nuls (NULS) to its blockchain ranking list that is slated for release on August 17. These additions come after Nuls launched its mainnet in early July and Tezos betanet was launched in July 2018 after closing a $232 million ICO.

While the next few months will be critical for the larger crypto market, it seems that Ethereum will be in the hot seat as it looks to retain its throne against mounting competitive pressure.

More: AltDex 100 Index
Interesting: Here’s Why Tetras Capital Is Betting Against Ethereum

Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.