Bitcoin was released in the early months of 2009. Since the time of its inception, this platform has been reigning as the incontestable leader of the Crypto revolution. Bitcoin is nearing its transaction capacity but still remains the most used crypto to date. The strongest rival of Bitcoin is Ethereum, which began its launch from mid-2015.
Bitcoin provides a decentralized mechanism for peer-to-peer transactions of the digital currencies. In comparison, Ethereum started with offering many decentralized applications running on its blockchain platform. However, Bitcoin has been adding additional layers to its system, providing tough competition for Ethereum.
For instance, Bitcoin added the Rootstock.io, which is a smart contract system somewhat similar to that of Ethereum. The functionalities of the smart contract are similar to those which Ethereum offers, with added security features.
Apart from these, the earlier launch of Bitcoin confers many more benefits to this platform, as described below:
Better Functionality of the Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin started with the aim to offer its users a digital currency system which could specialize as digital gold. The purpose of its creation was to provide a reliable monetary system, free from political intervention and unbounded inflation. However, Ethereum started with a different purpose. Its aim was to evolve as a platform which could serve as a world computer. Through the use of a blockchain dependent programming language, many decentralized applications are added to the Ethereum platform. These include the DApps, smart contracts and the DAO.
However, apart from the added applications, the cryptocurrency of Ethereum, Ether remains in second place. Due to its earlier release, bitcoin enjoys a more loyal customer base and a greater trust than Ethereum. This also reflects in the market cap of both. Bitcoin is $74,427,723,650 and that of Ethereum is $12,847,491,777 (data from coinmarketcap).
Less Risks of the Programming Language
The transaction data of Bitcoin includes mechanisms to transfer ownership of the assets, as well as relay transaction relevant instructions. For instance, a new modification in the platform enables locking the sent coins for a custom period. These instructions are known as the Scripting Language of Bitcoin, with are deliberately restricted to the transactional processing.
More supporting users for the Platform
The users of Bitcoin are known to be economically and politically conscious. Their motivation is mainly ideological, which stems from their distrust in big governments and central banks. On the contrary, the users of Ethereum show less ideological motivation. Their attraction to Ethereum stems from its innovative financial applications and the business prospects of the technology.
However, as the first cryptocurrency, the user base of Bitcoin is more extensive than that of Ethereum. And as Metcalfe’s law describes, there is a direct proportionality between the network’s value and the platform users. Therefore, more users increases the value of the platform. Which suggests that Bitcoin’s network has a much higher value, thanks to its extensive user base.
The Fair Blockchain Platform
The blockchain of the Bitcoin network uses a Proof of Work (POW) protocol composed of primarily 1 megabyte of blocks. The mining of the blocks occurs every ten minutes, using SHA-256 hashing. The current protocol which the Ethereum’s blockchain uses is also POW. But it proposes to use a fork that will switch the blockchain protocol to Proof of Stake (POS).
Even though some consider the POS protocol to be energy-efficient, its use will enhance the centralization of the network. This defeats the purpose of the blockchain network. As per Gavin Anderson, POS promotes a highly unfair system, where the richer gets richer.
Greater Security of the Platform
Considering the security of the Blockchain, miners have made massive investments in the Bitcoin infrastructure. The result is that the Bitcoin hashrate has peaked and reached a value of 1.8 ExaHash, i.e, 1,803,059,256 GH/s. This value is considerably higher than the hashrate of Ethereum. The peak hashrate reached by Ethereum is 3 TeraHash, i.e, 3,010 GH/s.
Therefore, the monetary cost of performing a 51% attack on the Bitcoin platform is significantly higher when compared to Ethereum. This makes Ethereum less secure as a result.
Stringent Development Approach
The core base of Bitcoin has the benefit of more than 100 critical contributors. Their complete assets amount to around $10 billion. As a result, all of them take a very conservative, well planned and careful approach to growth and development. The result is that every proposed Bitcoin improvement undergoes rigorous testing and peer review prior to merging.
On the contrary, the development of the Ethereum network follows a less conservative and constrained approach. They use of smart contracts on their platform. However, despite being effective, these smart contracts are particularly vulnerable to security issues. The reason is that any experienced coder has the ability to modify an Ethereum suitable smart contract.
Since the Ethereum development team doesn’t follow the stringent review process, these smart contracts can suffer from bugs. Some estimates have put the number of bugs in each line in the range of 1 in 10. As a result, the hacking of the DAO and other minor mishaps have occurred within the Ethereum network. Therefore, it is necessary to find a way to secure the smart contracts.
Bitcoin is the pioneer of the cryptocurrency era, and this is one title that it will never lose. The coin’s continuous performance have resulted in greater trust among its users. As a result, in spite of the emergence of currencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin still reigns supreme as the most trustworthy crypto platform.
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