Bitcoin and Ethereum: Not Competitors, Future BFFs – Andreas Antonopoulos
Somewhere along the way, the digital currency ecosystem came to the conclusion that every altcoinmust compete directly against Bitcoin, or die trying. That it was a zero-sum game, and all altcoins were designed to knock Bitcoin off the top of the mountain. After over seven years, this seems just as unlikely as ever, but Bitcoin savant Andreas Antonopoulos doesn’t see the need for conflict. He actually sees a world where a major altcoin, like Ethereum’s Ether, and Bitcoin can work together beautifully.
So Happy Together
Ethereum seems like the current “Girl with the curl” amongst altcoins, seeming to successfully take the leap from being just another Bitcoin wannabe to a legitimate stand-alone concept. Ethereum is relatively new on the scene, only going live with their genesis block on July 30th of last year after a very successful crowdfunding campaign, mostly paid with over30,000 Bitcoins.
It has been relatively successful, passing every other decentralized altcoin in its first year, and reaching the $1 billion USD market cap plateau earlier this year. As Andreas points out in his recent Q&A in Berlin, when investors got cold feet on Bitcoin after the “Hearn-icane” in January, they ran to invest in Ethereum, instead of leaving the digital currency market, a first for any altcoin.
Antonopoulos says he was in on Ethereal from the beginning, getting the white paper for review from founder Vitalik Buterin before he launched it for feedback, and has always been a fan of the concept. It is not a natural investment vehicle, like Bitcoin, but it has its own skill set that compliments Bitcoin, not competes directly with it.
“The two (Ethereum and Bitcoin) work very (well) together. In fact, I think Etherealcan use some of the underlying security in Bitcoin to become even more robust itself. They are not competitive. They are addressing different needs, which is why I think Ethereum is so successful because it is sufficiently differentiated from Bitcoin, to be focused on a different need.”
Ethereum has no known cap on Ether production, with almost 80 million Ether in production, so its price is expected to stay affordable in the long-run. Buterin would like to reduce Ether issuance to less than two million per year, starting next year. At the start of 2016, Ether cost less than $1 USDbefore soaring to over $15 USD in early February. Currently, Ether costs approximately $7.35 YSDand it is the highest-valued altcoin on the market by market capitalization.
Buterin tells Allen Scott of bitcoin.com that Ethereum’s Homestead phase is the second of the six phases of the Ethereum rollout that Ethereum has planned. The remaining phases include Metropolis (Mist release), Serenity (proof of stake Casper plus abstraction, aka Ethereum 1.5), and the yet unnamed Ethereum 2.0 and Ethereum 3.0, that will focus on scalability.