Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most widely recognized and largest cryptocurrency markets in the world. Bitcoin was introduced to the market in 2009, initially trading at less than the value of a cent, it has since risen in value to over $50,000, Ethereum, more recently debuted in 2015, has in the space of 6 years increased from $3 a token to selling well over $2000. The near fantastical growth of these two digital assets has drawn investors looking to cash in on the trend.
New investors, however, may be led to believe that Bitcoin and Ethereum are the same. This belief would be encouraged because both services offer cryptocurrency coins. Bitcoin offers the titular Bitcoin, while Ethereum offers Ether; however, nothing could be further from the truth.
Bitcoin, the forerunner of all cryptocurrencies, was designed as a digital currency that would eventually replace fiat currency. It has inbuilt features intended to maintain a stable store of value in the cryptocurrency. As well as being a decentralized currency free from government or commission control, there is a limited supply of Bitcoin in the market, ensuring that its value never becomes inflationary. And because these features make bitcoin very similar to gold, bitcoin has become a favorite of investors looking for long-term investments.
Ethereum, on the other hand, was built around different principles and use cases. Ethereum is a decentralized network designed for the end-level user. One of its most popular features being the creation of decentralized applications by users of the Ethereum network, through which smart contracts can be arranged. These features have unveiled a new world of finance called decentralized finance or DeFi, which aims to put total control of digital currencies in the users’ hands.
Alex Adelman, CEO of Lolli, has compared Bitcoin and Ethereum to Gold and Electricity, respectively, because Bitcoin, like gold, stores value for future use Ethereum, like electricity, facilitates other innovative technologies.
So the curious investor looking for a long-term investment that is stable and assured should buy into the bitcoin market. But for any investors looking for a market with a high potential for rewards, albeit with significant risk, Ethereum, and its smart contracts, may be the right fit.