Vinny Lingham, the co-founder of Gyft and the CEO of Blockchain identity startup Civic, recently stated that Bitcoin is better money while Ethereum isn’t.
Technically, Lingham’s statement is accurate in that Ethereum is a Blockchain network developed to facilitate the growth of decentralized applications (DApps). Its native token Ether was not designed to operate as a digital currency. Rather, Ether is used as gas or fee to fuel DApps launched on top of the Ethereum protocol.
In contrast, since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has been developed and designed to operate as a settlement network. The vast majority of investors currently consider Bitcoin as a safe haven asset, digital gold, settlement network and long-term investment but as Bitcoin deals with ideal scaling solutions, it will evolve into a better digital currency over time.
Investors that are purchasing Ethereum’s native token Ether under the assumption that it is a better currency or store of value than Bitcoin because of lower fees are completely off-base in almost all measures. Despite many claims, Ethereum’s Ether was not designed as a store of value and a currency and its low transaction fees should not be compared to that of Bitcoin until it competes for the same use cases as Bitcoin (peer-to-peer cash and digital gold).
“The flippening makes no sense”
It is also crucial to acknowledge that there always exists a tradeoff between security and flexibility. A Blockchain network has to prioritize one of the two.
“Bitcoin is better money, deflationary & scarce. Ether is not really money, inflationary & abundant. The flippening makes no sense,” said Lingham.
The term “flippening” has been used by members of the cryptocurrency community to describe a potential situation in which Ethereum overtakes Bitcoin in market cap. Lingham explained in a general sense that the flippening does not necessarily make much sense. However, a better way to explain the lack of logic in bringing up the argument of flippening is that Ethereum and Bitcoin are two completely different Blockchain networks with contrasting visions, monetary policies, structures, long-term strategies and development roadmaps and the two Blockchain networks should not be compared to one another in the first place.
Ethereum was designed and is being used to fuel decentralized applications and power Blockchain networks and companies to run autonomously. A major component of autonomous companies and projects on the Ethereum network has been the emergence of initial coin offerings (ICOs), which in theory is a phenomenal method of raising money without the existence of intermediaries and investors.
Contrasting characteristics and structures
Many investors and traders have completely ignored the contrasting characteristics and structures of Ethereum and Bitcoin. With proper research, evaluation and analysis, traders would be able to simply understand that the two networks or Blockchain protocols should not be compared against each other. One is a network that powers applications and the other is a store of value that prioritizes security.
As prominent venture capital investor and AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant stated, Bitcoin only needs to survive to prove itself as the premier store of value. Once it survives and addresses its underlying scaling issues, then it can evolve to become a practical digital currency.
“All Bitcoin has to do to become the premier store of value is...survive,” said Ravikant.
Both perform remarkably well this year though
Both Bitcoin and Ethereum have maintained an upward momentum and have recorded significant gains year-to-date. An increasing number of investors have started to purchase Bitcoin as a safe haven asset and a store of value while the ICO market enabled by Ethereum has experienced explosive growth.
More importantly, it is also important to consider the point addressed by CNBC’s Jim Cramer in that Bitcoin is being used by millions of active users that are utilizing the Bitcoin network to settle transactions in a decentralized and transparent manner to move funds out of their countries, to another person or business and to store money securely.
“There are multiple reasons why Bitcoin can rally. It is a great way to move money out of countries. Fabulous way to transact anonymously,” said Cramer.
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