Bitcoin may be the world’s number one cryptocurrency by market cap, but it’s Ethereum that seems to be all the rage amongst both crypto enthusiasts and developers everywhere as of late.
Ethereum Is Getting Bigger and Bigger
Ethereum is only the world’s second largest cryptocurrency, but it is the number one competitor to bitcoin. Still a relatively new currency by comparison (it was unveiled in 2015), the asset has established itself as the leading asset in the smart contracts space, attracting many new developers looking to establish applications and follow-up coins. However, this has come with a catch.
Ethereum has gained so much popularity in this department over the years that the ETH blockchain has become horribly congested and overstuffed with traffic. This has led to massive gas fees and slow transaction times, making it somewhat comparable with bitcoin. Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin has even commented that the blockchain is no longer scalable in many ways.
Both ETH and BTC have sought outside technical help to alleviate these problems. Bitcoin has employed the Lightning Network, while Ethereum has announced the development of Ethereum 2.0, which can potentially make the network faster and stronger.
The issue, however, is that Ethereum 2.0 has encountered heavy delays, which means that the congestion and fees have not yet wound down, but Ethereum has conquered the crypto space in many other ways, starting with the fact that the currency has increased its price by more than 30 percent since the beginning of the year, leaving bitcoin and competing altcoins behind. In addition, new Ethereum wallet addresses easily outdo those being created for bitcoin.
Thus far, ETH wallet addresses have increased by more than 110 percent since early January, while bitcoin’s have only increased by over 40 percent. Messari chief executive Ryan Selkis explained in an interview:
The level of development on Ethereum is crazy: initial coin offerings (ICOs), stable coins, non-fungible tokens, decentralized exchanges and other decentralized finance applications, and Web 3 use cases.
He did state, however, that bitcoin remains larger and “more important,” and that the delays incurred by 2.0 are likely to open the doors for many smaller currencies. He states:
There’s a lot of demand for smart contract platforms that scale, so there’s a big opening in the market right now with Ethereum 2.0 delayed, [processing] prices high, and well-funded competitors launching imminently.
Coins Aren’t Fighting with Each Other
But not everyone agrees. Kosala Hemachandra – founder and chief of My Ether Wallet – says that coins are not in competition with each other. That each asset is a unique part of a community-driven industry, and that anyone who thinks otherwise has the wrong idea. In an interview, Kosala states:
Viewing other blockchains as competitors to Ethereum isn’t the right framework to view the crypto space… Different blockchains have separate goals and purposes.