The world of digital currency has always been a battlefield, with Bitcoin and Ethereum being the primary gladiators since their inception. Bitcoin, being the pioneer, has continually claimed the crown in terms of market cap. Yet, Ethereum’s emergence brought a new rival into the scene, wielding superior technical features and versatile functions, sparking debates over its potential to outshine Bitcoin someday.
While both Bitcoin and Ethereum belong to the cryptocurrency family, they pursue distinct missions. Bitcoin envisions itself as a formidable decentralized currency, challenging the traditional notion of power and possession, posing as a potential rival to gold as a store of value and striving to ascend as the global reserve asset. This aspiration, nonetheless, does inevitably collide with governmental structures.
In contrast, Ethereum dreams of becoming a universal digital hub, a breeding ground for limitless innovations. Ethereum blockchain holds the reins of content, enabling ground-breaking concepts such as Decentralized Finance (DeFi), Web3, and notably, smart contracts. These coded contracts essentially eradicate the need for middlemen, like banks or questionable entities.
Ethereum’s recent execution of EIP-1559 and its evolution to a proof-of-stake model has dramatically revamped its tokenomics. This shift has slashed Ethereum’s inflation rate by over 90%, embedding a mechanism where Ethereum gets burned during each transaction. This tweak is projected to elevate Ethereum’s price, potentially propelling its growth and ensuring its value stability amidst market turmoil.
Conversely, Bitcoin’s tokenomics stand firm and predictable. The issuance rate of Bitcoin is predetermined, and the total supply to be mined is pre-set. Bitcoin undergoes halving every four years, effectively cutting its issuance rate by half.
Development pace plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of these cryptos. Bitcoin, considered nearly perfected, evolves at a slower pace compared to the perpetually advancing Ethereum, which continuously evolves to fulfill its lofty goals.
At present, Bitcoin chiefly acts as a store of value, whereas Ethereum boasts a plethora of applications, ranging from DeFi, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), smart contracts, WEB3, Metaverses, gaming, and beyond. Also, Ethereum’s drastic inflation decrease potentially establishes it as a reliable store of value.
Nonetheless, the challenges these blockchains face must be noted. Bitcoin has been consistently criticized for its carbon footprint, owing to its energy-hungry mining process. Conversely, Ethereum’s transition to a proof-of-stake protocol raises eyebrows about possible centralization. Regulatory pressure could also sway Ethereum more than Bitcoin.
Looking forward, both Bitcoin and Ethereum bear bright prospects. Bitcoin is now legal tender in El Salvador, with more countries predicted to follow suit. On the flip side, Ethereum’s pace of development is on the rise, delivering on its promise of swift, affordable transactions and infinite development opportunities.
At the time of this writing, Bitcoin’s market cap sits at $528 billion, while Ethereum chases at $222 billion. If Ethereum manages to surpass Bitcoin by slightly more than double, it might overtake Bitcoin’s market cap, a phenomenon called “flipping.” While this eventuality is plausible, any such flip may be short-lived, with Bitcoin swiftly reclaiming its throne. As Ethereum’s market cap expands, its growth may slow down, mirroring Bitcoin’s current state. Historically, both Bitcoin and Ethereum seem to ascend and descend together, indicating a challenge for Ethereum to make enough strides to permanently surpass Bitcoin.