Media reports are primarily about Bitcoin. One of the reasons for this is that Bitcoin is generally regarded as the first major cryptocurrency, and as such, it has been able to convince more and more interested parties of its kind and to rise to the currently high price level.
This is definitely an advantage that the much younger Ethereum does not have. Nevertheless, the currency unit of the platform – among the 700 digital currencies – is the second-most popular cryptocurrency. The success of the project, compared to Bitcoin, can be explained on the one hand by the underlying technology and on the other by the growing support of corporations.
The blockchain of Ethereum
In contrast to Bitcoin, Ether is not just a digital currency but a platform for distributed apps – so-called Distributed Apps, or even Dapps – that rely on Smart Contracts. The cryptocurrency Ether applies to this blockchain as a means of payment for computing power. Many startups now rely on Ether to collect money through Crowdinvest . This process, which is somewhat similar to a Kickstarter project, is referred to as ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), in which the companies issue tokens, which are paid in Ether.
Startups are now using ICOs frequently to circumvent the strict and regulated processes of venture capitalists and banks in the allocation of capital. Often, anyone who is willing to pay ethers can participate in an ICO so that even private investors with small funds can invest in promising startups.
The blockchains of Bitcoin and Ethereum differ in many other aspects, including the time required to process a block. The average block time at Bitcoin is currently around ten minutes. This means that for a transaction from A to B, Ethereum is much faster, because on the Ethereum blockchain the transaction is handled in about twelve seconds.
These are just two very simplified examples of the technical differences between bitcoin and Ether. In any case, Ether offers much more possibilities than Bitcoin, and more and more companies are also beginning to predict that Blockchain technology has a bright future.
The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance
In the almost two years since the start, Ethereum has succeeded in winning a large number of advocates and supporters among the largest companies in the world. This support is now bundled in the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA). The merger includes well-known companies.
The EEA was launched in February 2017 with the aim of standardizing the use of the Ethereum blockchain in the business environment. The fact that big corporations have placed themselves behind the platform also has a positive effect on ethers as a digital currency.
Bitcoin could not reach this form of support in its early years, and even today this blockchain is understood in the context of the enterprise mainly for financial transactions. The cryptocurrency resembles Bitcoin, but companies are more interested in what is under the hood. The technology on which the fledgling cryptocurrency is based is one of the main reasons that the members of the EEA are committed to the platform.
However, the EEA is not the only association of companies that want to establish standards for the blockchain. Among the largest competitors are the Hyperledger Project, the R3 Consortium and the Digital Asset Holdings.
Is Ethereum a better investment than Bitcoin?
No! In general, the maxim “diversification” applies to cryptic investigations as well as to any other investment. Who puts all his eggs in a basket is simply too high a risk. This is all the more true for such a young investment form as digital currencies. At the moment there are about 700 cryptocurrencies, many of which will fail in the coming months and years. On the other hand, the cryptos that are going to survive have a unique feature and distinguish them from the others. This is true for both bitcoin and Ethereum.
While Bitcoin is among others benefiting from its status as a first mover, its popularity and widespread use as well as acceptance as a means of payment, Ethereum scores with the underlying technology.
This is why Ethereum may be the real star of the cryptocurrency world, though it must be noted that it will not beat Bitcoin as a currency. Bitcoin has gotten a hell of a head start. For its first few years it had no competition, and even now it doesn’t. Ethereum is trying to do something completely different, so one cannot say that they are directly competing with each other. Bitcoin is also accepted as payment in more places in the world than any existing cryptocurrency.
Ethereum will probably end up having more of an impact but that shouldn’t be taken as a slight against Bitcoin at all. Ethereum had a very clear second mover advantage. The people who made Ethereum didn’t invent anything. Bitcoin was something completely new. Ethereum is just an application of Bitcoin – its founders looked at the vast potential which Bitcoin had other than as a currency, and they made it under the name of Ethereum.
Why are we sure that Ethereum will be a success? You just have to look at some of the companies working with the Ethereum alliance if you want to know why. They are working with companies like Microsoft, JP Morgan, Disney, and much more. These corporate juggernauts are working with Ethereum because they know they can profit from it. This will attract other corporations towards Ethereum as well, and the snowball effect will result in Ethereum becoming bigger and bigger.
On the other hand, corporations have not warmed up to Bitcoin at all. The biggest investment banks in the world aren’t investing in it and no major company is accepting it as payment. This does make people wary and only time will tell if they will ever warm up to it. They will have to in a few years anyway, when it becomes inevitable.