For the first time ever since bitcoin’s invention, a new digital currency has reached higher trading volumes, Ethereum. The currency is now trading $11 million more than bitcoin.
Ethereum has further risen above 50% of bitcoin’s market cap, reaching a high of 54%, less than two years since its invention in 2015, in a remarkable rise that has never been seen before in this space and even beyond consdering the timeframe.
The currency has now taken almost 25% market share of all digital currencies, while bitcoin has fallen to around 45% from a near dominance of 95% just months ago when it was the center of the entire ecosystem.
That’s no longer the case as ethereum now leads on many fronts. It is undoubtedly the most innovative platform, with projects after projects being launched by both start-ups and household brands.
It is now the most secure public blockchain with the fastest confirmation times and the widest adoption of any other public blockchain and, arguably, the widest adoption of any blockchain project, whether public or private, by household brands and businesses.
Moreover, the platform has a better governance model which allows the ecosystem to make a decision in a matter of weeks as we saw with what can now be considered as a very successful DAO hardfork.
Bitcoin participants, on the other hand, talk about little else than a topic which was opened in 2015 and should have been decided back then. Instead, more than two years later, the bitcoin community remains consumed by the scalability “debate.”
In the meantime, bitcoin fees have risen to around $3, with OKCoin, one of the biggest bitcoin exchange, setting default fees at $5, while a backlog of around 90,000 transactions continues for now more than a week.
That means next time the network sees congestion, fees might go as high as $10, while the backlog might reach perhaps even half a million, rising from its all time high of some 200,000 seen recently.
It’s an unfortunate state which could have very easily been avoided, but the community is deeply divided, with many bridges burned in an atmosphere of smearing and political campaigning where bitcoiner has turned against bitcoiner.
The ethereum ecosystem, by comparison, is a pleasant land. They have reconnected the time-line back to 2013-2014 where everyone talks about the many things this tech can do, from commerce to codable money, bringing back “magic” to the magic internet money.
On scalability, the developers plan to reach a level of as good as unlimited through sharding, further addressing with Proof of Stake one of the bigger criticism regarding bitcoin, sustainability.
The network requires more energy than Belgium, some say. Eth will get rid of that requirement, transitioning to a network where all you need is nothing else but a laptop, just like bitcoin when it was first launched, but instead of using CPU to make worthless calculations, the ethereum platform is to use eth as a means of preventing fakeness and of addressing the general’s problem.
It will likely be the biggest upgrade in this space, to be beaten only by sharding once that launches. With time estimates optimistically suggesting this year, but, hopefully, sometime next year.
Although things might move faster as the Ethereum Foundation is now the richest blockchain company, with most of their funding held in eth. Another advantage over bitcoin where Blockstream, a for-profit company that hires many bitcoin developers, was largely funded in dollars.
As such, many are wondering whether it will flip, while some have moved towards asking just how high bitcoin’s market cap will be when eth overtakes it, an event that would undoubtedly be historical, certainly for this space, but perhaps also for the wider world.