There are various warriors out there fighting for the cryptocurrency crown, but the lead runners are Bitcoin and Ethereum and both have serious backing. Due to the increase in competition, it is important for investors to understand the similarities and differences between the two.
What is Bitcoin
Bitcoin is the first form of digital currency which was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. Since everything is shown on the public ledger, the blockchain, you can be confident that the transaction is legitimate. Bitcoin offers lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and has no interference of banks. Also, it is used to buy things electronically. In that sense, it’s like conventional dollars, euros, or yen, which are also trading digitally at the moment.
What is Ethereum
Ethereum is meant to be much more than a payment system. It is also based on blockchain technology and was introduced to supplement decentralized applications.
It even features smart contracts and the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Firstly, Ethereum’s smart contracts allow contract negotiation and facilitation using an app which provides a decentralized way to verify and enforce them. It is powered by the Ethereum cryptocurrency Ether, which is held in the Ethereum wallet. Their aim is to provide greater security than normal contracts and bring down the associated cost. Also, the Ethereum Virtual Machine helps to create blockchain applications in a much easier and efficient way, enabling people to run any program.
Bitcoin vs. Ethereum:
In Bitcoin blockchain, miners mine to earn bitcoins and two-thirds of all available bitcoins have already been mined. The reward for mining halves about every four years and it’s current value is at 12.5 bitcoins with average block time as 10 minutes. Due to this block time, Bitcoin is suffering from slow transaction speeds thus, vendors and purchasers are choosing to shift.
On the other hand, Ethereum rewards its miners with ethers, which is a kind of token that fuels the network. You earn 5 ethers given for each block and unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s block time is 12 seconds. Ethereum’s GHOST protocol enables quick block time. The faster the block time, the quicker the confirmations. However, there are also more orphaned blocks. Ethereum gives application developers the opportunity to create all sorts of applications that carry out their own set of operations, which have never been seen before. While smart contracts are set up to be unchanging and trustworthy, they are still ultimately a creation of humans who are capable of error.
Another major difference is the supply of Bitcoin, which is exceedingly low, with just 16.24 million left from 21 million. Whereas, Ethereum has over 89,752,192 coins currently existing. This is an advantage for Ethereum since Bitcoin might be left behind due to its low supply.
Furthermore, both Ethereum and bitcoin use different hashing algorithms. While Bitcoin uses SHA-256 algorithm that produces a number in hexadecimal format, Ethereum uses Ethash algorithm.
Here’s a table representing all the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum:
The future of Bitcoin and Ether
As we glance into the future, it’s hard to get a grip on who exactly is going to be on top of the chain. Over the years, Bitcoin has become more and more popular, there has been a steady increase in volume since the beginning of 2017. It now represents a technological breakthrough that has the potential to change the way the world banks. Now standing on $2209, for the first time in history, surpassing even the price of gold.
However, as high as Bitcoin pushes, it is going to drag Ethereum with it as well, which is now trading at $175. While the future of Ether is more uncertain than the future of Bitcoin, the potential gains are also much greater.
Both digital currencies continue to push all-time highs for almost every available metric and show no or very little signs of slowing down.