Bitcoin’s market lead has dropped by 45%, from near complete dominance and market monopoly of digital currencies to an overshadowing by more nimble newcomers and some oldies trying a second bite at the apple.
Monero was the first to make a run, but quickly run out of breath. Dash tried their luck, but the currency had already been considered and relegated by the market. Then came eth, the new cool kid which brags about 17 seconds transaction times while also bringing to reality codable money.
It has seen an astonishing rise from $1 billion to $9 billion, up some 20x from a bottom of $5. In the process bringing forth some 29 tokens funding many projects now valued a combined $1 billion.
The currency and platform has grabbed imagination as well as attention, including that of many strong bitcoin supporters who left for eth and now think bitcoin is just outdated. It’s slow, expensive, part of the community is “toxic,” they say.
So eth’s trading space now attracts more active online users than bitcoin’s main public spaces. A clear sign that attention and focus has moved, as is the constantly dropping bitcoin’s market share, which has fallen some 15% in mere days.
Interestingly, ripple has now decided to come play, rising to an astonishing $8 billion market cap from around $2 billion in just one day.
That market cap might be fiction in a like for like comparison because while bitcoin has only 21 million coins and eth around 90 million, ripple has some 40 billion in circulation, with another 60 billion held by Ripple Labs.
They are, however, handling considerable trading volumes of some $400 million. The problem is they do not really offer anything conceptually above their competition, not even more than bitcoin.
That’s because they do not use a blockchain, instead relying on trusted hubs, bank like intermediaries which clear your transaction by sort of taking your funds and paying the recipient in an IOU manner.
They claim to facilitate savings in transaction costs, but how, considering they are using intermediaries just like banks, is not very clear. Moreover, they come with much baggage. Their very founder disavowed the project and said he was to sell all ripple holdings, leading to great losses for the many ripple holders.
Like Dash, therefore, they too are probably just a second biter which has been fully considered by the market and rejected for offering nothing, especially when competition is considered, thus will probably go back to the irrelevance they came from.
As for bitcoin, that it has to consider any such competition is because the very first digital currency has been unable to make a fairly simple decision. After two years of debate where every aspect has been considered at length, the decision of bitcoiners appears to be a continuation of operating with very limited capacity.
Bitcoin’s price still has somehow gone up, but far slower than its competitors, especially eth, which has maintained the second position for now more than a year showing that unlike other currencies it is not a temporary thing but actually offers something.
Bitcoin’s networks effects, on the other hand, have dropped significantly, and if it does fall into irrelevance, replaced by far cooler new tech, there won’t be a more apt application of the tale of the boy who cried wolf.
Because that ancient story has a very clear warning. Just because previous proclamations that bitcoin is dead have turned out to be mistaken, it does not mean bitcoin might not actually become irrelevant.