Say “digital currency” or “cryptocurrency” and one name comes to mind: Bitcoin (BTC). That share of mind is understandable since Bitcoin is the pioneer of this brave new world of money. But there are emerging challengers; and little by little, they are staking a claim as credible alternatives to Bitcoin.
Currently the only other digital currency that is making a big push is Ethereum (ETH). The open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform was founded in July 2015 by Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin. Both founders have been cut in the mold of the tech entrepreneur: young, bold, intrepid, with a dash of Genghis Khan. Their fearless attack on the cryptocurrency market has pushed Ethereum to number two among all other Bitcoin-pretenders. So far, the climb has been worth it.
As of this writing Ethereum is trading in the number two position among digital currency at a price of around $1350. This price may not seem like much when compared to Bitcoin’s current trading price of $14,731, but there is an illusory nature to how the numbers break down. Digital currency traders, who don’t look properly, are at risk of missing out on the tremendous upside being built up by alternative currencies.
A good look at Ethereum (ETH) shows that the trajectory for the coin has been building at a steady and sharp pace. Over the last week or so ETH has risen 46%. When compared to a broad block of coins (including Bitcoin), it is the only digital currency that is maintaining such steady growth. Bitcoin by contrast is down 3% over the last 7 days; Ripple, another coin, is down 32% over the same period; down too is Stellar, a sub $1 digital currency that has dropped 33% over the last 7 days. In very clear terms ETH is on the up and up and like Bitcoin before it, the demand for its bounty is bound to play a role in sending it to very high levels, potentially.
ETH also stacks up well across other metrics, too. Market cap, for instance, is a whopping $128B; this isn’t quite like the $244B enjoyed by Bitcoin at the moment, but it’s a clear sign that ETH is one of the heavier hitters looking to dethrone Bitcoin. ETH, in theory, could dethrone Bitcoin in the event of a massive price hike. The reason is simple: circulation.
Unlike Bitcoin, ETH has around 96M digital currencies in circulation. This is 500% greater circulation and with ETH priced well below Bitcoin, it is clear how a dramatic price hike in the former could create a market cap of insane proportions. Another big factor that needs to come to the fore for traders and analysts is the fact that despite trading under $1,500, ETH is doing about half of the one-day volume of Bitcoin. In real terms this means that more and more people are trading ETH; this has the potential to drive prices higher potentially.
The bottom line is that Ethereum (ETH) has been anointed as the next big thing in cryptocurrencies and traders who track its progress and engage are in line for potentially huge windfalls. Digital currency detractors are now doing U-turns as they look to embrace the potential of ETH. The recently formed consortium, dubbed Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, includes mainstream companies like JP Morgan and Microsoft. Ethereum’s blockchain has done what Bitcoin couldn’t do, it seems; it’s pulled in the caliber of players (and believers) necessary to propel digital currencies into the real world. At this pace of growth, ETH could see what one of its co-creators believes is a potentially “doubling or tripling” in 2018. ETH is definitely one to watch as the digital currency space heats up.