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As Bitcoin reached mainstream levels of success, other platforms did their best to capitalize by joining the movement. Only a handful, however, succeeded in establishing a name for themselves. One of them was the prominent platform for smart contracts, Ethereum. Now, Bitcoin and Ethereum are two of the most important leaders in the world of cryptocurrency. Although there is a large discrepancy between their prices, both of them are still on the list of top ten most valuable coins. Bitcoin is currently trading at roughly $3,746 per coin while the price of Ether is a little under $122. But what exactly makes these two different from each other?

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Bitcoin Started the Movement, Ethereum Improved It
As most investors are aware, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency that brought the blockchain technology to the world. Once people saw what it can do, they wanted to make their own versions of it. So, they altered the original lines of code that were used for Bitcoin. Most of them made changes related to speed, security, and other obvious areas where the platform needed improvement. And given that they modified the code, there were no issues with violating the rights of anyone’s intellectual property.

Well, most of these ventures failed as soon as they came to life. In fact, there are over a thousand different altcoins that have a value of less than a $1 right now. Since it took much more to get them started, these prices indicate that they are not doing well. Enter Ethereum. As one of the first platforms to take the world of blockchain and improve it, Ethereum did something that many people did not even consider. It established a network where others can use blockchain to build their own projects.

Ethereum’s Purpose
When Vitalik Buterin developed Ethereum in 2015, he gave rise to a network where others can take advantage of the smart contract technology. After that, most digital coins that came to the world were established through Ethereum. So, what exactly do these smart contracts do? Well, according to a cryptocurrency expert and miner, Nando Caporicci, they are lines of code that ensure a smooth transaction between parties. For instance, when someone hires a person to build something on Ethereum, they enter into a smart contract. Then, once they complete whatever they set out to build, the network recognizes this action and rewards it with an automatic payment. Thus, everything is digitalized and independent of any delays and errors.

Bitcoin Remains in Lead
Although Ethereum is much more versatile than Bitcoin, it is still far behind it when it comes to value. A part of the reason why this is the case is the fact that people continue to trust the pioneer of the movement the most. Regardless of how reliable, safe, and fast other networks are, it is undebatable that they are nothing but modifications of Bitcoin’s code. Thus, as Nando Caporicci sees it, the public trust remains unchanged and is reflected in the dominant prices of this cryptocurrency.

What Does the Future Hold?
Even though digital coins had a stage where the prices were dominating every single sector of investing, they now seem to be on a downward spiral. Bitcoin that once traded at almost $20,000 per coin is under $4,000. Similarly, most other coins have experienced dangerous losses. Some of the factors that caused this are things like regulations, controversies, countries enforcing bans, and more. But what will the future of cryptocurrencies look like? More importantly, where will the two aforementioned giants, Ethereum and Bitcoin, go in 2019?

Well, the most accurate way to put it is to say that it is impossible to make any guarantees. There are experts and networks who believe that Bitcoin will reach a value of $50,000 per coin in the following calendar year. Others, however, are much more skeptical and do not anticipate any significant growth. In fact, they even think that the current downfall will continue in 2019 until most cryptocurrencies are forced to shut down. Of course, most of these predictions are directly related to people’s standpoints and biases about the market. In reality, there is no way to decide which of the two extreme ends of the spectrum are closer to the right answer. The easiest and most reliable solution is to wait and see what happens!

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