Bitcoin has been a groundbreaker of sorts, actually defining its own geography, which gave way to new realms of cryptocurrencies with their own planes and lows and highs. Any cryptocurrency other than its majesty, Bitcoin, is known as altcoin, abbreviation of alternative coins and although so many followed suit after Bitcoin’s emergence and success, the market always shook off the weak or, unfortunately, the deceitful.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum, in a boringly technical sentence, is a blockchain of smart contracts with an open source where Ether or ETH is the currency that runs all over it. Brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, 17 when he proposed the idea with a white paper, Ethereum’s practical goal was building decentralized applications. When it was announced at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, 2014, the initial 5 founders of the project convened and later in Switzerland with 2 more founders when one of the original founders Charles Hoskinson left the project after Buterin’s decision to make it a non-profit project.
Initial coin offering of the currency was organized by the Ethereum Foundation where ETH was purchased by BTCs. Despite the DAO scandal where DAO tokens created on the network worth 50 million USD were stolen, the reactive community proved the platform’s functionality to a lot of people. Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, founded by startups, research groups and Fortune 500 companies along with J.P. Morgan, Intel, Microsoft could be found to further the development and use of Ethereum. The blockchain gets added blocks by miners and the protocol awards them ETHs. ETH is the only currency that could be used to meet the transaction fees on the network so it is like the fuel of the whole platform.
Why the versus?
With its market cap of almost 140million USD it is understandable why a versus between Bitcoin and Etherum quickly emerge, however there are very fundamental differences in how they work and what they are primarily developed for. For example BTC is a digital money and a digital money only, with the sole purpose of establishing itself as an alternative currency and money transfer platform. Meanwhile Ethereum is a platform to enable its users to build smart contracts to run certain functions, apps even, under certain conditions and that platform itself could be used to run other cryptocurrencies on top of itself. Its transaction time is quite fast in comparison to Bitcoin as well which makes it more appealing.
One ETH right now is traded for 1208 USD and that exchange rate saw 330 USD last summer. There were always high hopes on ETH and that it would tip 600 USD by October however it took its time and reached 400s only by the early November. Since then, in parallel to BTC, it has been steadily gaining more value as it broke through the 1000 USD barrier in the first week of January. While XRP is plagued with criminal charges against it, these two of the highest tier are soaring although it is expected a correction is to follow soon.
So be aware.