It is common knowledge that Bitcoin is the reigning champion in the crypto space, having been the first notable digital currency and impacting the world of finance as we know it. What is more commonly understood is that Ethereum takes second place, being just as popular but not as dominant. Both have a strong presence in Bitcoin exchange sites and other crypto trading platforms, as well as being sought after by many investors, beginners, and experts alike.
In a way, Bitcoin is the Coke, and Ethereum is the Pepsi of cryptocurrency. However, much like those brands of pop, some people will lean more towards one over the other. This leads to many asking which crypto is better to get paid with. The answer to this question is ultimately subjective but still requires research to gain proper perspective. The two have their similarities and differences, and most importantly, they serve different purposes.
The key differences
As is the case when selecting one option over another, one must analyze the qualities of each, both good and bad. The same idea applies to choosing between Bitcoin and Ethereum. In order to make this choice, the individual must understand the characteristics that set the cryptocurrencies apart from each other.
First and foremost, the launch of Bitcoin occurred in January of 2009. In doing so, it introduced a unique concept through a white paper written by the mysterious figure, Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin promises an online currency that is secured and lacking any central authority at the helm, contrasting government-issued currencies.
Ethereum is different from Bitcoin in that it is more than just a cryptocurrency. Technically speaking, Ethereum is not even a cryptocurrency; Ether (ETH) is. Ethereum itself is merely the platform that Ether is based on. Ethereum permits the deployment of smart contracts and the construction of decentralized applications (DApps) without any third parties controlling or interfering with the operation. Ethereum is accompanied by its own programming language that runs on a blockchain, thus enabling developers to develop and run distributed applications.
Put simply, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, and Ethereum is a platform. However, there are other elements that make the two completely different.
Bitcoin transactions are predominantly monetary, whereas Ethereum transactions are more likely to be executable code. When it comes to the speed of transactions, the ones on the Ethereum network are considerably faster than the ones on Bitcoin. While Ethereum’s block time only takes seconds to complete, Bitcoin’s takes minutes.
Bitcoin functions as a store of value and provide a way for people to send money. Ethereum, while also being a way to send money, only does so when certain things transpire. Finally, Ethereum differs from Bitcoin by acting as a building platform for DApps and smart contracts, which is what allows it to send tokens representing values. These values can be a wide range of things beyond digital currencies, hence why it is a different entity from Bitcoin.
The initial purpose of Ethereum’s creation was to make it a compliment to Bitcoin, but in an ironic twist, it became a rival.
Which is the better option?
Bitcoin is roughly ten times larger than Ether based on market cap, with one bitcoin being worth significantly more. Despite the difference in their respective prices, research conducted by the popular cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, illustrates that there is a correlation between the prices of the two.
Ultimately, there is a general consensus among the more experienced crypto investors, entrepreneurs, and connoisseurs of the subject. When taking everything into account, Bitcoin is a comparatively better choice for purchase and payment. With that said, examining Bitcoin and Ethereum will inevitably lead to further discussion centering on what blockchain technology can do to improve everyday life. There is no denying that Bitcoin and Ethereum will both have a big role in future endeavors, from financial matters to judiciaries to eventual development.
At their core, Bitcoin and Ethereum are different ideas. Ethereum is a decentralized platform for decentralized ideas, and Bitcoin is a store of value. ETH is the cryptocurrency running the platform that is Ethereum. While both are important, the blockchain that makes them possible is also an essential idea to acknowledge and understand. Nowadays, there is less dependency on revealing precious data to others in order to make transactions.
In the end, like with most choices, deciding on Bitcoin or Ethereum (technically ETH) is subjective. The popular opinion is that Bitcoin is the better of the two, but Ethereum has benefits that boost it up to Bitcoin’s level.