Over the past few years, Bitcoin has become the hallmark of cryptocurrencies, being the first ever digital currency, as well as the most popular with the majority of dominance, it has attracted many to invest. Bitcoin has made quite a few millionaires, and has attracted the watchful eye of governments and rich entrepreneurs alike.
As bitcoin rose in value, it spurred the creation of many other cryptocurrencies, including litecoin, Dash and ZCash. However, among the thousands of alternative coins, or altcoins, none have gained as much traction as a new competitor who entered the market early 2015: Ethereum. Similar to other currencies in the sense it was based upon the distributed ledger technology pioneered by Bitcoin, Ethereum, provides a key additional function that many other currencies lack: uses outside of a peer to peer transaction base.
Ethereum allows developers to create their own decentralised applications and use Smart Contracts for things such as asset registration, land ownership and anything else where keeping a permanent record is essential. It has tons of other uses too, the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately, Ether has already shot up in value, so the super early adopter value spike has already transpired, but with the faster block confirmation times (~10 mins vs ~20 seconds) and larger blocks, Ether allows for more transactions and more confirmations faster, and along with the added development room to grow, Ether could overtake Bitcoin as the cryptocurrency of choice, while rising in value at the same time. Ethereum can quite possibly be the next big cryptocurrency.
What is Ethereum
Ethereum has adapted and developed the concept of the blockchain used by Bitcoin to create an altogether new technology. It was created to be able to do a lot more than Bitcoin and has given the blockchain a new purpose as opposed to just peer to peer cash. Ethereum allows developers to create and deploy decentralized applications (DApps) using the Ethereum blockchain.
Ether is the store of value used within the Ethereum platform. Ether can be used as a currency and also to pay for transaction fees and services within the eco-system. The same peer to peer method of exchange that Bitcoin offers can also be achieved using Ethereum using Ether, but Ethereum takes the concept a whole lot further.
What is Bitcoin?
So what is Bitcoin.. Bitcoin was first created in 2009 under the synonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The real identity of it’s creator(s) is not known, however the value of the digital currency speaks for itself. Bitcoin is the first ever decentralised currency, a fact which plays a big part in it’s ever increasing popularity. For generations, the global monetary system has been run and controlled by centralised banks, riddled with corruption, inflation, and most importantly, based entirely on debt. Bitcoin is not controlled by any organisation, bank, third parties. It’s controlled entirely by it’s users, transaction by transaction. What is Bitcoin used for? Bitcoin allows users to quickly and directly transfer the digital cash to any address around the globe, without the permission of any third party.
Will Ethereum overtake Bitcoin?
So can Ethereum overtake Bitcoin as number 1? While it was never the intention for Ethereum to be an intrinsic store of value like with Bitcoin, investors spotted an opportunity and invested anyway following the early gains Bitcoin had achieved, causing the price to skyrocket in early 2017.
Believe it or not, the Ether price was just $9 on 1st January 2017! Mid way through 2017 the price hit highs of $430, and investors jumped on board hoping the value would continue rising.
Just 12 months later in January 2018, Ethereum reached its current all time high price of $1,391
In terms of growth in for the year 2017, Ethereum blew Bitcoin completely out of the water! From January 2017 to January 2018, Ethereum gained a whopping 15,355%, while Bitcoin gain around 1830%. Still impressive, but the growth of Ethereum completely dwarfs that of Bitcoin.
Interest in the technology is growing at an unfathomable rate, with thousands of companies and organisations around the world developing projects and expressing an interest. Even global ecommerce giants Amazon are becoming interested in Ethereum. Last year they registered (among a couple of others) the domain amazonethereum.com. But will Ethereum overtake Bitcoin?
It’s certainly possible that one day Ethereum could overtake Bitcoin. The fate of Bitcoin is being heavily debated at the moment, with dominance reducing, while Ethereum is quietly gaining more and more traction in the background.
Ethereum itself is also under threat from other newer decentralized application platforms doing building similar platforms. Projects like NEO, EOS and Lisk are gaining traction and all claim to be better alternatives to Ethereum.
While the vast majority of new ICO’s and crypto projects still use the Ethereum platform, there is a growing number who’re testing the waters with these newer alternatives.
Anything can happen in the cryptocurrency world, and the rest of 2018 is certainly going to be eventful. 2017 will undoubtedly go down in history as the year of the crypto, but could the rest 2018 be any better. More importantly, could Ethereum overtake Bitcoin?
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