Bitcoin has been the king of cryptocurrency since its creation in 2009. But this doesn’t mean that Bitcoin is the only digital currency in the game. Since its inception, Bitcoin has inspired competition, often from technologies that surpass it in function and performance. Smart contract platform Ethereum is the most well-known example, and some think that ETH will eclipse BTC in five years or less!
Bitcoin is more than 5X more valuable than Ethereum ETH in terms of market cap. But the two decentralized currencies are very different in their function, and one art agency analyst thinks that this is central to Ethereum’s future value.
Ethereum is More Than Money for the Art World
There are many art dealers who accept both Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment for goods and services. But only Ethereum can be more than money for these businesses. For Thomas Crown Art, Ethereum smart contracts are used to prevent fraud – authenticating artworks using Ethereum’s trustless system.
This latter function is something Bitcoin is simply unequipped to perform. And this is why Ian McLeod, analyst for Thomas Crown Art, believes that Ethereum will ultimately top Bitcoin in both market cap and universal adoption.
Ethereum was the first major blockchain platform to appreciate all of the different ways the technology could help society. Among many other use cases, the Ethereum blockchain can be used to create digital tokens that represent real-world assets. By linking one to the other, each unique token can verify the identity of its associated real world object. This is simply one powerful capability of Ethereum, for one application within a very specific industry, but it speaks to Ethereum’s capabilities for all industries.
Where will Ethereum Be in 5 Years?
In the tweet pictured above, Weiss Ratings expresses what many crypto analysts believe: smart contract platforms are the future of cryptocurrency.
While Bitcoin is largely limited to a single function, platforms like Ethereum are able to do nearly anything the internet itself can do, plus plenty of brand new functions. It’s this power and flexibility that make Ethereum and its various competitors (NEO “China’s Ethereum”, ICON “South Korea’s Ethereum”, EOS “the Ethereum Killer”) so exciting. They’re more than just money.
When Will the Flippening Happen, if Ever?
Veteran crypto traders will remember watching breathlessly in June 2017 when Ethereum…almost…toppled Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s market dominance fell below 39% while Ethereum’s hit 32%. But then Bitcoin recovered to the 52.7% dominance it enjoys today. This is largely due to the fact that, despite Ethereum’s other capabilities, it’s little better as a currency than Bitcoin.
Digital money remains the chief use case of cryptocurrency, at least as the world reckons it. While Bitcoin suffers from slow speeds and high costs, so does Ethereum. For a coin like Ethereum to take over from Bitcoin, it must first outperform it as digital cash, before it will be able to show the world what else it can do besides.
This might take a while, but that’s why we think Weiss’s five-year timeframe is realistic. Ethereum may be struggling today, but its capabilities may well be more vast than Bitcoin’s, and half a decade will likely be more than enough runway to finally demonstrate this for the world.
Featured image source: Pixabay