Ethereum: an Alternative to Bitcoin?

Written by Kevin, The Bitcoin Guru
Aug 22, 2018

Ethereum is a virtual coin and the platform issuing Ethereum (ETH) is also known by the name Ethereum. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is also created by an individual, a computer programmer by profession in late 2013 after the 5 years of the launch of Bitcoin. The name of the programmer was Vitalik Buterin. Although it was launched in 2013, the formal development of the platform was kick-started in 2014 by a Swiss company. The fund for the project was generated through crowd sale of the pre-mined 11.9million Ether. A non-profit organization "Ethereum Foundation" was also established to regulate the whole process and in 2017 Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) was established to broaden the scope and popularity of Ether. In 2016, the collapse of the DAO project (a venture capital fund), made the Ether to split into two branches, namely ETH (Ethereum) and ETC (Ethereum classic).

The Unstable Ether Price & Market Capitalization

The Ethereum has the second largest market capitalization after Bitcoin and till now around 100 million Ethereum has entered the market. It has actually grown by 13000% percent since the time it was launched. The all-time highest price of the Ethereum stands at $1,417 (2017) and currently, its price is hovering around $300. The Ethereum has a very large market in comparison to Litecoin or Ripple but is quite far away from Bitcoin. The volatility is present in Ethereum also and its price has seen fluctuating trend in the last 4 years of its launch. Within the one month of launch, its price soared in between $1 to $3. The price again started to rise and by mid-August reached $18 per ETH. Due to DAO project failure, its price fell down to $11/ETH in 2016 and it maintained a steady pace for the entire year.

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Its price is driven by demand-supply factors. Its demand has increased due to many reasons like less time consumption for mining ETH; it takes a few seconds for every transaction while it takes few minutes within Bitcoin. Other reasons are more liquidity in comparison to Bitcoin. The Bitcoin has been released as a pure alternative to fiat money, but Ethereum has been launched as a platform for facilitating peer to peer contract and computer applications and it actually monetizes its platform and is an advanced version of blockchain technology. These features make it a good option for investment and that is why in recent years, it has gained momentum and climbed the stairs of success.

In the past months of 2018, Ethereum has shown quite a constant rate of return. It has remained a stable cryptocurrency in comparison to other cryptocurrencies. Many analysts say that it has the potential to climb the stairs of price in the near future as it has not reached the saturated level price benchmark. We can say that it is still in its ‘price discovery phase'.

What Can You Actually do With Ethereum

The trading or exchange points for Ethereum are Gdax, Bitfinex, Kraken, and Gemini. These exchanges update the price of the Ethereum on a daily basis. Moreover, people can also pay with Ethereum without even exchanging it.

There are many Ethereum implementations allowing the user to have a secure network and complying with the regulation of Ethereum mining. Some of them are used to mine classic version while some of them are available for ETH mining. The names of implementations are following:

  • SputnikVM (for ETC)
  • Go-Etehreum
  • Parity
  • Pyethereum in Python
  • Ethereum in Java
  • Burrow

We understood that Ethereum is not only a virtual currency but also a platform for facilitating secure contract and applications among the users. The price of the Ethereum is quite low in comparison to Bitcoin but has been gaining momentum speedily. The reason could be less time taken for transaction completion and wide application of the Ethereum. It is the second largest market sharing currency after Bitcoin and has surpassed the previously launched Litecoin. Analysts predict that it is there for a big breakthrough in the market.