3. THE TECHNOLOGY BATTLE
On paper, one could argue Bitcoin is better than any other cryptocurrency, token, or digital asset because those other offerings would not be around, were it not for Bitcoin. In this regard, the popular cryptocurrency has a leg up over any other currency in existence. Bitcoin will always be the first “major” cryptocurrency, and it has been around for 9 years now. Ethereum, on the other hand, only came to market a few years ago.
That being said, Ethereum offers some interesting pieces of technology. Smart contracts have been quite a revolutionary technology, although the same concept will be part of the Bitcoin protocol soon. Bitcoin has a disturbing lack of decentralized application possibilities, which makes Ethereum seem “better” in this regard. Then again, there is no “major” decentralized application in existence to be embraced by mainstream society either. Ethereum has a technological edge over Bitcoin, but until it is used by the masses, it is a matter of semantics.
2. NUMBER OF COINS
When we look at the available supply of currency, Bitcoin is clearly more scarce than Ethereum. In fact, Bitcoin has a hard coin supply cap of 21 million BTC. Ethereum has over 92 million coins in circulation, with more being mined every day. Even when Ethereum switches to proof of stake, it will remain an inflationary currency to some degree. A lot of people tend to overlook this fact, although it is certainly worth taking into consideration.
Not knowing how many ETH will be in circulation at its peak is somewhat disconcerting. A lot of Ethereum enthusiasts will shrug this off and claim it doesn’t matter. Rest assured such “details” should matter to everyone who gets involved in any cryptocurrency. Ethereum is not the only currency without a fixed maximum supply cap right now, but given its current market cap, it could become an issue over time. Bitcoin is better in this regard, as there is no confusion regarding the available supply.
From a speculative point of view, both Bitcoin and Ethereum have seen significant value gains over the past year. In the case of Bitcoin, these gains have been smaller percentage-wise. Then again, Bitcoin was created well before Ethereum and has seen its value increase steadily over the years. Ethereum’s value suddenly picked up over the past year and a half. Whether or not that trend can be sustained over the long term, remains to be seen.
At the same time, the Ethereum price is still linked to the Bitcoin price. When Bitcoin goes up, Ethereum will often go down a bit until it stabilizes. As Bitcoin declines in value, Ethereum either goes down along with it or sees a small gain. These values often correct themselves within mere hours, though. Right now, Bitcoin is clearly the bullish currency of the two, whereas Ethereum is trying to stabilize. All cryptocurrencies depend on what Bitcoin is doing, and Ethereum is no exception.