When it comes to cryptocurrencies, the two names that stand out the most are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin is the first and biggest cryptocurrency, whereas Ethereum is recently giving bitcoin a run for its money.
Bitcoin is the first working cryptocurrency in the world. It was created by a developer (or a group of developers) by the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Bitcoin has seen a 500% growth in 2020. Ethereum is the 2nd biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation in the world. It was created by a Russian Canadian developer named Vitalik Buterin. Ethereum was created to improve various aspects of bitcoin. Ethereum has grown 1500% in the last year.
The biggest and most important difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum is the smart contract. Smart contracts are a computer program which is executed automatically when a predefined set of conditions are met. The ability to create smart contracts in the Ethereum blockchain makes it a more usable form of cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, while Ethereum is a token based on the Ethereum blockchain. Bitcoins can only be used as a medium of value transfer. Ethereum Blockchain on the other hand has other applications as well. Ethereum blockchain can act as a storage for computer programs. Ethereum blockchains power the NFTS (Non-Fungible Token). Other cryptos like Chainlink, BAT, Uniswap were built on top of the Ethereum Blockchain.
Transaction speed is another differentiating factor between Bitcoin and Ethereum. A Bitcoin transaction requires around 10 minutes to verify and write it to the ledger. Ethereum transactions are faster and only require a couple of seconds to accomplish the same task.
From its existence, Bitcoin has emerged to become the gold standard for the cryptocurrency space. But, recent and newer applications of Ethereum and its underlying technology, Ethereum Blockchain is challenging the dominance of Bitcoin. Many experts in the field believe that Ethereum is more effective than Bitcoin in the long run.
FORKS OF ETHEREUM
Ethereum Classic is the first hard fork of the original Ethereum blockchain, and it was a contentious hard fork. The hard fork was a result of a difference in ideologies. The split occurred in 2016 after a decentralized pooling fund – called a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) – that as built on Ethereum was hacked.
One of the more recent hard fork of the Ethereum protocol is EtherZero. The aim of Etherzero is to offer thousands of transactions per second – compared to Ethereum’s current rate of 15 transactions per second – with zero fees! It is an ambitious goal that many have called into question.
This is actually a ‘planned’ hard fork by the core Ethereum developers, unlike the others that have been discussed in this article. ‘Metropolis’ is an update or enhancement of the current Ethereum blockchain.