Ethereum will experience a "monumental, defining global breakout" when smart contracts can accept outside data.

That is the prediction of influential tech expert Ian McLeod of art-tech agency Thomas Crown Art. It comes as Ethereum's price jumped 4 per cent on Monday, to trade at highs of $210.

"Ethereum is back in bull territory and is on track to enjoy considerable gains before year-end," said McLeod.

"I maintain that we can expect Ethereum to hit $500 by the end of 2018 and go on an overall upward trajectory throughout 2019."

McLeod says oracles will be responsible for pushing Ethereum into an "entirely new phase of mass adoption".

Oracles are trusted data feeds that deliver information into the smart contract, thereby taking away the requirement for smart contracts to directly access information outside their network.

They are typically supplied by third parties which are authorised by the organisations that use them.

"When Ethereum-based smart contracts are fed a robust and reliable information through oracles to make precise and correct judgements, Ethereum's price will explode," McLeod said.

Last month McLeod said bitcoin is expected to lose 50 per cent of its market share to Ethereum within five years.

At the time, he noted: "Ethereum is already light years ahead of Bitcoin in everything but price – and this gap will become increasingly apparent as more and more investors jump into crypto."

This week billionaire Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Google, said ethereum could be a "powerful platform" whose untapped potential is off the charts.

Schmidt made the remarks during a live event with economist Tyler Cowen hosted by Village Global in San Francisco.