Hello everyone and welcome to another article for Vendata's journey of the crypto world! We all have heard of Bitcoin and Ethereum being the two top cryptocurrencies in the market. Together, they make over 65% of the crypto market, which is extraordinary! There are over 6500 coins in the crypto market, and only two of them make the majority! However, Bitcoin dominates even Ethereum, taking over 50% of the market cap, Ethereum only sitting just over 10%, making a difference of about 40%. Although Bitcoin overpowers Ethereum in market cap, Ethereum has received a lot of popularity over the years in supporting the growth of other cryptocurrencies, especially with allowing them to have a reliable foundation to grow. Which one is better is a controversial topic. Some will say Bitcoin, some will say Ethereum, some may say they are equal, some may even not like them at all. Each opinion is valid, with reasons and evidence backing up their points, but I want to know why they the way they are. Why is Bitcoin so big and strong with Ethereum falling short? Why does Bitcoin represent the crypto world, not other smaller coins which have magnificent purposes? Why is it Bitcoin, why is it Ethereum?
I find it is always helpful to find the history of something to have a better understanding of it. If you know what happened in the past, you can know why the present is as it is while making predictions for the future.
Let's start with Bitcoin. Before the 21st century, people were already thinking of the concept of e-Cash, meaning that you can interact with the virtual world through money for a variety of benefits, especially with convenience and efficiency. Multiple cryptocurrencies were theoretically made from the fundamental crypto concepts (e.g. PoW (Proof of Work), but none of them was let free into the real world. It took until 2008 where Bitcoin was made, registered in August as Bitcoin.org and launching in January 2009. A Bitcoin whitepaper (i.e. report) was published two months later, based similarly to the crypto concepts developed over the past decades. The publisher was called Satoshi Nakamoto, who is an anonymous person or group.
Now let's go through Ethereum. After Bitcoin was slowly gaining popularity as the first cryptocurrency, imagination sparked across the world for crypto. The Canadian developer Vitalik Buterin in 2013 followed with the next idea of a second cryptocurrency. The second cryptocurrency was proposed as a new platform that allows decentralised applications to work in an online environment. Ethereum was launched in 2015 after a fundraiser with 72 million coins made, now growing as the second most powerful cryptocurrency in the market.
Bitcoin's and Ethereum's features are far too complex to explain in great detail, so I will keep them short. Even to go briefly with each one will take extremely long. Many different cases with Bitcoin and Ethereum need to be covered with unique features, and to go through everyone will take too much time, going away from the main point of the article.
Bitcoin's main features include:
- Maximum supply - there is only 21 million Bitcoin; nothing more nor nothing less
- Bitcoin halving - approximately every 4 years the rewards for miners is halved to meet the increasing demand
- Reliable anonymity - make online transactions in the virtual world with many different areas in a reliable manner
Ethereum's main features include:
- Smart contracts - allows two different parties to reach an agreement without the need for a third party
- Gas - a term for the fees for transactions/smart contracts
- Infinite circulating supply - make as much Ethereum as wanted (from Ethereum coordinators)
The history already has gone through quite a bit in the uses of Bitcoin and Ethereum, so there would not be much to say! I could go on and on about the purposes for each, but that would take too long, there are so many different uses!
Bitcoin is essentially a reliable online cash currency. You can buy things wherever you want on the internet with Bitcoin, provided that it supports Bitcoin. Bitcoin can be thought of like Paypal, only decentralised and working in a completely different way, relying on strong computing to work. Companies that support Bitcoin payments include:
Ethereum is quite different to Bitcoin. As mentioned earlier, Ethereum is a platform to create decentralised applications for the virtual world. The majority of cryptocurrencies in the market are based on Ethereum, a more reliable way than Bitcoin for a decentralised crypto interaction. Another important feature that makes Ethereum more preferable than Bitcoin for making blockchains is its infinite supply. Ethereum can make as much of it as it wants, able to keep to price steady against demand. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has a limited supply. With a growing demand for it, I am expecting Bitcoin to soar even higher in price. Even 1 million USD sounds plausible! Places where Ethereum is used as a support include:
- BAT (Basic Attention Token)
So who is the winner after this battle? Is it Bitcoin or Ethereum? That is for you to decide! I find them both useful for different things. Ethereum is essential for decentralised applications with its features specially tailored for them, not Bitcoin who looks more to reliable and anonymous online transactions. Every cryptocurrency has its place and uses in the crypto world, and Ethereum and Bitcoin are the two big parents who nurture the little children of small cryptocurrencies below.
Here is where I battle Bitcoin and Ethereum against each other, developing my knowledge of the giants of the crypto world.