Ethereum has now finally taken the stage to lead the show, rising above $800 in a bullish run since the beginning of April, with its trading volumes up to $4 billion.
It is the first time eth leads in more than a year, with eth so taking the show after bitcoin’s stupendous bull run late last year.
The gap between the two is now at “just” $80 billion, with eth and bitcoin fiercely contesting the top position at least twice previously.
The two are not quite competitors as eth can do everything bitcoin can, plus many other things through smart contracts, but which one should be valued more is quite a contested matter.
That’s primarily because bitcoin is older, and therefore better known, but bitcoin has been losing mindshare to eth for at least two years now.
But to get there eth needs to implement sharding, which will increase its capacity from 10 transactions a second to 1,000. So allowing all these applications and use cases to run unhampered.
At Edcon, the coder’s conference, there were a number of presentations on sharding and, somewhat surprisingly for us, it appears to have reached the stage where it is fully fleshed out in how it will initially be implemented.
It will be a simple (pretty complex for mere mortals) version, with Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s inventor, shaking up all the theoretical concepts to come up with a “skeleton” that can be worked on and is being worked on now.
It is very much number one priority and there appears to be quite a few individuals working on it, so it might go out next year, just in time to welcome the big 2020.
That will make ethereum the only scalable decentralized public blockchain in a way that allows individuals to continue running the network from a mere laptop.
In addition, Hybrid Casper is pretty much ready and should go out in 3-4 months after they are double and triple sure it is all safe.
That will slash miners’ rewards by some 90% and overall inflation by 80%, making eth’s new supply lower than bitcoin’s at 2% yearly inflation for eth, while bitcoin will remain at around 4% for the next two years.
All that means eth has a clear roadmap to reach the stage when we can finally say public blockchains are ready for mainstream use, rather than just for buying and selling.
There’s risk on the way, of course, but at the protocol level, this is just code so any aspect would only be temporary and would be fixed.
So making 2018 the decisive year and so far it has been going fairly well. On the regulatory front clarity has been reached, with only China shutting itself out. A trend we are noticing here is a change of tune by regulators as they learn more.
It appears initially they have no clue whatever and they come with pre-concieved notions and usually are hostile. As time goes by, they begin to wonder, well why does this have so many so excited? So then they give it a second look, this time in a neutral manner, and then of course they find out why, and they announce their u-turns. It’s fine, we’ve all been there.
While in the main aspect regarding eth scaling, initial estimates were five years, but that has now seemingly dropped to potentially as early as next year as it has been fleshed out with just coding left, and then testing, of course, etc.
It appears therefore that instead of 2018 being the decisive year, it might be the continuation of the miraculous year. We dream one day of calling it the miraculous decade, but as stated there is plenty of risk, so we’ll see how this goes.
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