“Ethereum has already won the race for developer mindshare, and with so many active projects in the developer community like Web3.js, MetaMask, Infura, Truffle, Trustwallet, etc. (it’s a long list), it’s going to be extremely difficult for another platform to catch up.”
So say representatives from Loom Network in an extensive question and answers sessions after adding:
“Ethereum has several orders of magnitude more developers than any other platform. And if you don’t have developers building on your platform, you’re building a ghost town.”
Only recently bitcoin was celebrating the fact that 21 new developers, or 21 new nicknames on github, had started contributing.
In eth, 21 new devs are for just one dapp. Indeed you could argue bitcoin itself is just one dapp running on top of ethereum. You can pick your flavor, Dai stable coin or bitcoin with proof of work mining tokens.
The most anticipated upgrade in bitcoin, for, like, a decade, is the Lightning Network (LN). Have you tried using it? Part of the fun writing for trustnodes is that you kind of try whatever you want.
For LN, we gave it a small test-run in March, and what is called LN, from a user’s perspective, is more of an invoice network.
That means no repeat payments, at least for now, and all the inconveniences of invoices which are usually limited to business settings for, you know, invoicing.
That’s not to say… we’re not disparaging LN. The network can be cool, it does bundle transactions, etc, but in ethereum LN is just one dapp, called the Request Network.
Now the comparison is a bit unfair, but from the end user’s perspective, it isn’t much different. In the Request Network, you make a request, which otherwise can be said as you send an invoice, and then they pay it as shown in our test-run which didn’t go very well, but we’ll prob test it again when it refines.
There are differences, but it would be a small step to go from the Request Network to bundling transactions like in LN.
So we have two dapps on bitcoin, and that’s very much it. Bitcoin cash might have a bit more once they upgrade with their Op_Codes, but the script language is so basic, you can’t kind of run everything you want as you can in eth.
Which is why ethereum is getting all the devs, and the mind-share, with Silicon Valley betting very much on eth because you can code stuff on it and build stuff on it.
But some rightly say it is a bit too early to declare the race has been won. Now is not the time for complacence, the opposite. Eth has to run to meet our imposed deadline of 2020 because if sharding is not ready by then to greet the new decade we will very much reeee a lot.
However, everyone was sort of expecting a new bitcoin or a better bitcoin back when. That’s because everyone was talking about programmable money, how you can do so much with it, but you couldn’t really do much in bitcoin itself due to its very limited script language.
So when smart contract were invented and launched in 2015, suddenly blockchain tech took its full form. Few were paying attention however, because the baby network was just a baby and people couldn’t quite see what eth does, especially not when met with constant propaganda back then from bitcoiners that eth is a scam or whatever.
That baby network however was given a great gift in 2016 when a first, and ultimately a final, decision was taken in bitcoin regarding scalability, a decision that went against popular opinion by any measure from those times.
With voice having failed, exit was the only remaining option. So people gave ethereum a second look, and saw that it was everything they had hoped and were told bitcoin was to become.
That monumental turning event propelled eth to great heights (for the time) and very quickly. Then, Coinbase, and by extension Silicon Valley, gave eth their seal of approval. Glorious revolution take two had begun.
A cynic might see those events as a proxy battle between the techies and the banks. Others might see it as fools being fools. And yet others might think the decisions that were made were actually right.
Yet now two years on, it all looks like ancient history. The might bitcoin now no longer in the mind of dreamers, eth is what has become love.
For eth to fall, another blockchain with small improvements would not be sufficient. It might run a bit faster, it might calculate a bit quicker, but it wouldn’t really… have any actual innovation.
You’d need something that is at the scale of smart contracts. Before eth, bitcoin had plenty of clones with a change here or there, but it wasn’t until something very new with significant capability came along that bitcoin started to lose considerable market share.
The other aspect is that with bitcoin we kind of knew what that something new would be as everyone was talking about programmable money. Now, we don’t really know what would be comparable for eth.
And yet another aspect is that network effects are quite a powerful thing. There are probably thousands of developers who have become somewhat decently familiar with eth. You can transport those skills, but, you’d want a very good reason to do so.
Which means eth has very much won, but it doesn’t mean it will always do so. Yet it would be for eth to lose that leadership position, rather than for others to gain it.
Which it may well do so, as bitcoin did, but much has been learned from that saga. A saga that in the end proved the anti-fragility qualities of public blockchains.
“Ethereum is sufficiently decentralized, which is necessary for a base layer. Other blockchains that claim to be cheaper / faster than Ethereum, it’s typically because either a) no one is using them so there’s low competition for transaction fees, or b) they’ve sacrificed decentralization by design in order to increase throughput,” so says the representative from Loom Network.
Others could argue average people do not care about all this decentralization stuff, but then it is not average people building all this stuff. So those average people will probably listen to the builders, especially when it comes to such matters like money.
And those builders are very much on ethereum after hearing that 90s song which goes something like:
Go eth, life is peaceful there
Go eth, in the open air
Go eth, where the skies are blue
Go eth, this is what we’re gonna do.