If you’ve been paying attention to the crypto space lately, you’d know that there is a lot of talk about Bitcoin possibly losing its place in the rankings and dropping below #1 among cryptocurrencies.
At first, this entire play seemed far-fetched. After all, Bitcoin has a market cap that is over twice that of the next coin, Ether. But, increased sentiment has shown that Ether could indeed grow to become more popular than Bitcoin.
Time Changes Everything - Even Crypto
For a taste of what many believe will come, you need only look at the other coins in the CoinMarketCap rankings. This time last year, Binance Coin (BNB) was a fringe coin that many were skeptical about. Solana (SOL) and Polkadot (DOT) were almost nowhere, and people only knew Dogecoin (DOGE) to be a joke of a currency that never really had any value.
Fast forward to one year, and all of these assets are firmly in the top 10 rankings - along with more established coins like XRP and Cardano (ADA). Other coins that used to dominate these rankings - such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) - have been pushed to the side. So, if you think that a dramatic change can’t happen within the space of a year, you’d be wrong.
Ether is Always Lurking
As expected, the candidate that many are tipping to succeed Bitcoin is Ether. All of the Ether believers have said that it probably won’t top Bitcoin for the next few years, but there is a strong belief that Bitcoin would eventually lose its top spot.
The primary driver for this, of course, is the Etheruem blockchain. The blockchain remains the most popular in the world, and even its scalability issues haven’t done much to damage its reputation. The Ethereum blockchain remains the key to aspects of the industry like decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as many of these protocols are built on it. So, it has a lot going for it.
Recently, Nigel Green, the chief executive of crypto investment firm deVere Group, told City AM that Ether could indeed surpass Bitcoin in value in the next few years. As Green explained, Etheruem’s recent form of good runs and impressive operations has led the coin to become a darling for many in the industry.
“First, Ether has a higher level of real-use potential as Ethereum – the platform on which it is the native cryptocurrency – is the most in-demand development platform for smart contracts, thereby highlighting that network’s value not only as a platform for developers but as a worldwide financial utility,” Green said.
The CEO added that investor enthusiasm is still strong, with the Etheruem blockchain moving towards its ETH 2.0 upgrade. The upgrade is set to make the blockchain more scalable to accommodate more users and lower transaction costs.
Green added that he was confident about Bitcoin’s ability to surpass its all-time high before the end of the year. However, considering that the Etheruem blockchain remains more functional, it should be able to surpass Bitcoin in “the next five years or so.”
Besides Green, the British banking giant has also thrown its hat in the ring - in support of Ether. Last week, the bank released an investor guide, explaining its disbelief that Bitcoin could hit $100,000 before the end of the year - or at the beginning of 2022 at least. Despite this, the bank claimed that ETH could jump even comparatively higher and hit between $26,000 and $35,000.
Standard Chartered noted that whale BItcoin has more worldwide appeal, Ether will be more useful because of the Ethereum blockchain. More people and companies will adopt the latter, leading to a boost in the ETH price.
The bank also added that Bitcoin will need to hit the $175,000 mark for Ether to finally break bounds entirely. But, the move will eventually come, and the Ethereum blockchain’s superior functionality will carry Ether above Bitcoin.
What is Ether Fails?
So far, it seems too soon to say. There is no doubt that the Ethereum blockchain is more functional, as it helps with developing apps and building solutions that could impact the world. BItcoin’s blockchain isn’t quite as useful, primarily because it doesn’t have smart contracts.
But, this isn’t to say that Bitcoin can’t integrate smart contracts. A few weeks ago, Square CEO Jack Dorsey said on Twitter that the company will be looking for ways to make Bitcoin more functional and its blockchain more compatible with DeFi protocols.
As Dorsey explained, Square is focused on building an “open developer platform with the sole goal of making it easy to create non-custodial, permissionless, and decentralized financial services.” the company will be looking to integrate several of its divisions into this project - including its crypto-favored Cash App, Seller, and the Tidal streaming service that it acquired earlier in the year.
There is also the fact that Etheruem might not get the type of results it hopes from ETH 2.0. For one, the upgrade isn’t going to come to life until 2022 at the very earliest. Even if it does come to life, it might not work quite as well as Etheruem hopes. If that happens, it would be an incredible flop - one that Ethereum and Ether might not recover from.