Bitcoin was the first form of cryptocurrency to be created, and therefore it's not surprising that it has remained one of the leading forms since its creation. It is known as 'electric gold' due to its extremely high rate compared to other currencies. However, like other currencies, its values can fluctuate day by day, and Bitcoin has certainly had its fair share of ups and downs. Recently in fact, Bitcoin has had its value slashed almost in half of what it used to be, much to the dismay of many.
Ethereum is one of the many cryptocurrencies that were developed after Bitcoin, however it is proving to be strong competition for the original, and the popularity of this new currency is growing at an alarming speed. Recently there has been a huge rise in the value of Ethereum, leading some people to believe that soon it will overtake Bitcoin, and maybe even lead to it's downfall in the future.
Despite both being a form of cryptocurrency, the two are actually very different when compared directly with each other. A bitcoin introduces the idea of a lower transaction fee then other online payment types, which is not operated by a government authority, which most currencies are. Over the years since it was created, the acceptance of this virtual currency has rapidly grown, however it still has not be recognised as a formal medium of payment.
Ethereum on the other hand, is one of the largest, most well established software platforms that allows Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications to be built without the risk of fraud or interference from a third party, thanks to blockchain technology.
Technology giants such as IBM are currently using Ethereum as the main backbone of their Internet of Things platform, and because of this new technology, other large companies will start to follow this lead. Law firms will begin to make smart contacts as part of their day to day running of their businesses, and soon people will not think twice about using this internet system. Governments will even begin to see the potential in blockchain technology, and over time it's usage will grow.
Essentially, Ethereum has something that Bitcoin doesn't, despite them both using blockchain technology. In addition to being used as virtual currency, it provides a way to create online markets and smart contracts, which are also known as programmable transactions, and it is this that is helping to solve many problems faced by a lot of companies.
A smart contract is essentially a contract that can be enforced by the use of code. These codes can interact with other contracts, make decisions, store data and send Ether (Ethereum crytocurrency) to others.
It's due to all these additional feature that makes Ethereum a real competitor to Bitcoin, and is actually growing at an even faster rate than Bitcoin ever did.
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Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.