In 2017, crypto hangouts on Reddit were dominated by talk of a strange phenomenon known as 'flippening', which was supposed to happen late that year or in early 2018, and refers to the monumental moment when the second-most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum, would finally be able to overtake the mighty bitcoin as the largest crypto in terms of market cap.
Well, were are well into 2018, and bitcoin is still flashing a market cap more than twice Ethereum's. Ether enthusiasts have been forced to eat humble pie and chill out-- at least for the time being.
Yet, flippening remains a distinct possibility.
Bitcoin has been enjoying a big first-mover advantage, having been created by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto about four years before Ethereum made its debut thanks to the genius of then 19-year old Russian programmer, Vitalik Buterin.
But big brother can only intimidate his younger siblings up to a point. Ethereum's market cap has at one time closed in on bitcoin's to the tune of 70 percent before retreating.
But more importantly, unlike the hundreds of bitcoin clones that have sprung up, Ethereum has no such pretenses. In fact, the two coins could not be more different …
Whereas bitcoin is a pure-play cryptocurrency suitable for use as a means of exchange and store of value, Ethereum is a general-purpose platform for creating blockchain-based contracts and smart contracts first and as a cryptocurrency a distant second. Related: The Key Takeaways From Blockchain's Biggest Week
Crypto investors have long been aware of that fact, but have not had any way to pit the two against each other than by using boring metrics such as price, market cap and trading volumes.
At least … up until now.
China's Center for Information Industry Development has released a cryptocurrency index that evaluates and ranks public blockchains. The index ranks cryptos based on technological capability, innovativeness of the project and usefulness of the application.
The results are in: Ethereum ranked #1, while bitcoin was a distant #13--about mid-way on the index's 28-crypto list. Bitcoin was even pipped by upstarts Steem (2nd), Lisk (3rd), NEO (4th) and Komodo (5th).
Ethereum Strong Points
The fact that a country keen on banning cryptos is now ranking them might strike some people as odd. But what many might not realize is that last year, China's citizens filed more blockchain patent applications than citizens in any other country in the world.
The Beijing index just confirmed what many crypto experts have been saying all along: Ethereum has both technological and organizational advantages over bitcoin.
Ethereum is designed to not only decentralize traditional banks the but the entire internet. Ethereum boasts a more advanced and secure blockchain compared to bitcoin with several distinct advantages over bitcoin including:
• Much faster transaction speed that allows the processing of nearly four times as many daily transactions as bitcoin
• Much lower transaction fees
• More nodes
• Higher network activity
This opens up a vast array of potential use cases for both business and consumers. Ethereum might one day be the platform that we use to transfer everything from smart, self-executing contracts to title deeds and online data.
Further, the Ethereum blockchain has major potential to facilitate innovations and provide a global digital workforce with new ways of building things by sharing information through more efficient, distributed databases in a connected and autonomous future.
By Alex Kimani for Safehaven.com
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