Ethereum became the most searched for digital currency in the United States yesterday, rising above bitcoin for the first time ever, in a potential sign that a shift may be underway.
Google searches for ethereum briefly overtook bitcoin in the United Kingdom as well, ranked higher in Singapore more consistently, while South Korea has seemingly fallen in love with ethereum.
Worldwide, Google searches for bitcoin remained higher, but while the top countries searching for it are places like Bolivia, Nigeria, Ghana, Colombia, far richer countries are searching for eth.
The top ranking countries for ethereum are places like Singapore, Australia, Netherlands, Switzerland, with the United States, Germany, UK and Canada, as well as South Korea, all in the top 20.
The discrepancy is interesting because it may suggest information has simply not yet reached countries like Ghana, a developing nation lacking much banking infrastructure which bitcoin promised to provide.
Unfortunately, bitcoin’s transaction fees are now higher than what a middle class Ghanan or Nigerian earns in a day, with the currency now unsuitable even for international remittance.
So a switch appears to be underway from bitcoin to ethereum which has far lower fees and plans to scale onchain to as good as unlimited capacity, potentially making it appealing to developing nations.
But it is ethereum’s breakthrough smart contracts invention that has grabbed the imagination of more developed countries such as Austria and Netherlands.
Nethereland’s national grid is piloting the use of blockchain technology for better management of energy supply and demand misbalances, while Royal Dutch Shell and other energy giants have joined forces to launch an ethereum blockchain initiative.
In South Korea, Samsung has joined the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance, while in Japan, Toyota is piloting the use of ethereum’s blockchain for self-driving cars.
So, simple bitcoin like payments are just one aspect of Ethereum, but even there the currency is making inroads as Pastebin becomes the first prominent service provided to accept eth for payments.