Bitcoin vs Ethereum – Which one is Better?

With all of the commotion going on in the world of cryptocurrency, some interesting questions arise. A lot of people still feel they need to choose between Bitcoin or Ethereum, because one of them “has” to be better than the other. That is not the case by any means, as both ecosystems are trying to do things entirely. However, there are some aspects of both currencies which can be referred to as “being better than” its counterpart.

3. The Technology Battle

On paper, one could argue Bitcoin is better than any other cryptocurrency, token, or digital asset because those other offerings would not be around, were it not for Bitcoin. In this regard, the popular cryptocurrency has a leg up over any other currency in existence. Bitcoin will always be the first “major” cryptocurrency, and it has been around for 9 years now. Ethereum, on the other hand, only came to market a few years ago.

That being said, Ethereum offers some interesting pieces of technology. Smart contracts have been quite a revolutionary technology, although the same concept will be part of the Bitcoin protocol soon. Bitcoin has a disturbing lack of decentralized application possibilities, which makes Ethereum seem “better” in this regard. Then again, there is no “major” decentralized application in existence to be embraced by mainstream society either. Ethereum has a technological edge over Bitcoin, but until it is used by the masses, it is a matter of semantics.

2. Number of Coins

When we look at the available supply of currency, Bitcoin is clearly more scarce than Ethereum. In fact, Bitcoin has a hard coin supply cap of 21 million BTC. Ethereum has over 92 million coins in circulation, with more being mined every day. Even when Ethereum switches to proof of stake, it will remain an inflationary currency to some degree. A lot of people tend to overlook this fact, although it is certainly worth taking into consideration.

Not knowing how many ETH will be in circulation at its peak is somewhat disconcerting. A lot of Ethereum enthusiasts will shrug this off and claim it doesn’t matter. Rest assured such “details” should matter to everyone who gets involved in any cryptocurrency. Ethereum is not the only currency without a fixed maximum supply cap right now, but given its current market cap, it could become an issue over time. Bitcoin is better in this regard, as there is no confusion regarding the available supply.

1. Speculation

From a speculative point of view, both Bitcoin and Ethereum have seen significant value gains over the past year. In the case of Bitcoin, these gains have been smaller percentage-wise. Then again, Bitcoin was created well before Ethereum and has seen its value increase steadily over the years. Ethereum’s value suddenly picked up over the past year and a half. Whether or not that trend can be sustained over the long term, remains to be seen.

At the same time, the Ethereum price is still linked to the Bitcoin price. When Bitcoin goes up, Ethereum will often go down a bit until it stabilizes. As Bitcoin declines in value, Ethereum either goes down along with it, or sees a small gain. These values often correct themselves within mere hours, though. Right now, Bitcoin is clearly the bullish currency of the two, whereas Ethereum is trying to stabilize. All cryptocurrencies depend on what Bitcoin is doing, and Ethereum is no exception.

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  • Daniel Geraldo

    Nice article, thank you.

  • Wm055

    This article is not accurate. There is 30% of bitcoin coins that are ‘Lost’, and actually when Bit drops so does Eth, when Bit raises, so does Eth. They are tied very closely to each other. Not in the manner the writer noted. Research before you talk.

    • Viendo 333

      You are correct!

  • Edgelord

    Ethereum is garbage.
    2008 showed everyone the predatory nature of banks.
    The solution Satoshi Nakamoto came up with was to disintermediate the banks entirely. People are corruptible, math is not.
    If people want to spurn Nakamoto’s gift and trust bankers with Ripple, Ethereum, etc that’s their business.
    I have no doubt that anyone using banker crypto, having forgotten the past, will be doomed to repeat it.

    • Dan P

      “Ethereum is garbage” – upset that there’s something out there that actually has some utility, that people – and businesses, including banks – are actually using to drive value and efficiency, rather than just hoard like Bitcoin?

      • Diplodocust

        Dude is obviously a Bitcoin fanboy. Just look at his comment history. He feels the pressure building because Ethereum is in such high demand. He fears “The Flippening”. In case you haven’t heard, that is when Ethereum will overtake Bitcoin as the new dominant currency. Many Bitcoin fanboys are terrified of what Ethereum is doing right now.

        • Edgelord

          I’ve caught these Ethereum trolls shilling on almost every Bitcoin forum!
          Same tactics almost verbatim, no facts and personal attacks, fake names and empty profiles on Facebook.

        • Edgelord

          How much do they pay you to troll Bitcoin forums?
          Let’s hope they pay you in something other than Ethereum because in spite of your attacks, Ethereum is a fundamentally bad cryptocurrency.

    • Jimboby

      “Ethereum is garbage” congratulations on being one of the only people on the planet who has this opinion.

      • Edgelord

        No cap on total unit, and a rewritable blockchain…No thanks.

    • Top Deck

      Yeah, because that’s why Bitcoin was originally created. May I remind you that the primary users base of Bitcoin used to be criminals, and to some extent still is. Bitcoin is only the dominant cryptocurrency right now because it is the oldest. The world hasn’t seen anything like Ethereum since Bitcoin, and I think you know it. Ethereum is what Bitcoin should have been all along. If you think Ethereum is garbage, then I’m guessing you have a lot invested in Bitcoin and are scared to death because you know Ethereum is a superior product and will very probably overthrow Bitcoin as the dominant cryptocurrency. If you based your opinion on reality and not just loyalty because of your investment, you would know that Ethereum is a much better solution.

      • Edgelord

        The “primary users base” of Bitcoin has never been criminals. That would be like saying the primary user base of cash was bank robbers, lol.
        A few, much publicized cases were used to make headlines and cast aspersions on Bitcoin.
        By dollar value the banks themselves were far more guilty of laundering money for drug cartels and financial fraud as in the case of toxic securities. The list goes on, but how about the latest case of fraud by Wells Fargo, does that justify saying “a majority of banks are engaged in criminal fraud”?

        As far as Ethereum is concerned there are some very real flaws.
        There is no cap on total units and that is ultimately inflationary.
        Ethereum is controlled by a small group that can and does edit the Blockchain when it deems necessary, as evidenced by the “DAO Debacle” that led to the Ethereum split. These two factors alone indicate that Ethereum is not a “good store of value”.
        If one needs the programmability aspect Of Ethereum I would suggest Ethereum classic, same programmability and much more honest.

        As far as cryptocurrencies go there are other altcoin with good fundamentals but as you say Bitcoin is the largest and well established.
        If one is interested in altcoins, I would recommend both both Litecoin and Auroracoin for their sound fundamentals.

    • Hosea Baker

      The majority of the public isn’t ready to give up traditional banking for crypto currencies, and they won’t just jump straight from one to the other. At the same time, the banking industry isn’t going to just fold up shop and go home. They still represent more market share and power than the crypto currency markets. It makes sense that as banks adopt Ethereum, Ripple, and the like, this will be the most likely path for the majority of users to “get on” the blockchain. If you like a return on investment, it makes sense to like all of these coins right now as the public will always prefer the simplest route to adoption.

      • Johnny

        Exactly. It’s the best way to get rapid development and adoption of crypto of the masses to get a feel of its potential. Any developments and ideas may likely spill over into other crypto markets. And when the mainstream gets comfortable, it may give them the know how to use and trade/invest for better more sound crypto competition in the future as they seek to optimise any flaws out.

    • Russell Spears

      It definitely looks like Ethereum supporters are trolls here…. fake names and no Avatars….

      Spreading misinformation and FUD.

      • Edgelord

        Good point Russell, I’ve caught these Ethereum trolls shilling on almost every Bitcoin forum!
        The writing styles are so similar that I think it’s the same character(s).

        Same tactics almost verbatim, no facts and personal attacks, fake names and empty profiles on Facebook.

  • Bitfreak

    This author is just trying to down talk Ethereum. What this author is oblivious of or does not want to think of is how POS changes the whole equation.. With POS the power is in the hands of the people who own the Ethers and not just left to the mercy of the miners. So any dilution or inflation just adds to the net worth of those who are the stakeholders only. So contradictory to the propositions made regarding unlimited supply, whoever wants to get a stake or part of the new age economy is well served by taking a stake now itself rather than waiting more time and pay more. POS will actually create more demand with everyone wanting to own a part and especially the enterprises and governments as well. This is something only those in the know now know about. Others creating FUD are those who have a self interest or are paid just to write the article. Worth thinking about.

    • Edgelord

      “any dilution or inflation just adds to the net worth”…Are you crazy?
      That goes against any of economic model ever devised by anyone, other than your employer…

      • Casey Cook

        Wouldn’t it be wise to have a stake in both BTC and ETH? Would a scenario arise where Bitcoin becomes more of store of value, ‘digital gold’ type hedge against central bank fiat printing where ETH becomes a daily transactional currency with little or no overhead to the buyer and seller with lots of apps for consumers to choose from to load on their smartphones. So the use case is people doing day to day transactions on ETH or Litecoin. Now there are hundreds more with all of them having their own mission statement and purpose.

        • Edgelord

          The diversity you’re talking about is probably Litecoin.
          Faster transaction times because of Segwit integration but still good fundamentals of decentralization and an 84 million cap on units.
          It’s not that prefer Bitcoin, in fact my all time favorite is Auroracoin.
          I just don’t trust a banker crypto especially one with no cap on units and controlled by the same group that brought us the world financial crisis of 2008.

  • Russell Spears

    BITCOIN VS ALTCOINS & ETHEREUM

    Contrary to the dominant narritive, Bitcoin has no problem…it’s immunities to change is what gives it a credible decentralized quality. It is precisely because Chinese miners, Bitcoin core developers, or these large exchanges cannot make changes or force updates on Bitcoin’s network, that we can see proof that Bitcoin is the most decentralized.

    NOTE: Bitcoin already functions perfect as a store of value…It doesn’t need to function as a currency yet.

    My biggest concern for Ethereum and all other altcoins is their governance models: if Ethereum moves to proof of stake, and the big Banks are the largest stake holders, the promised innovation and decentralization will be captured and put under their control again.

    Ethereum seems capable of changes easily, thus it is too centralized to serve as a store of value… it may eventually connect to Bitcoin for value, or it will be replaced by an innovative sidechain or update to Bitcoin soon.

    The only thing that matters for a viable blockchain is it’s use as a store of value….all other functionality comes later as the free market demands.

    Ethereum is a bad speculative Investment, because it is soo easy to change… Bitcoin is the new standard that has far surpassed Golds’ 5000 year reign…but let’s face it horses have been awround longer, but few people are willing to take a horse, over a car, on a cross country ride. Technology progresses, and when it finally works, it changes even our longest traditions.

    • Edgelord

      The Ethereum shills seem to be repeating the same message in every forum:
      “Get on board before you’re left out” and “If you have questions about Ethereum as store of value, you must be a Bitcoin fanboy”.
      As I’ve said, I’ve found what appears to be these same people on almost every Bitcoin forum spouting the same nonsense under assumed names and empty profiles.
      I’m tempted to start “trolling” the Ethereum forums and injecting common sense but I don’t get paid to do it the way they are.

      • Russell Spears

        I think the narrative is starting to break through mainstream conversations…

        Bitcoin does not have to be a currency it only has to be a store of value.

        But I think once it is a store of value then soon after they will innovate on top of it and develop a currency feature.

        In my opinion there’s many reasons why Ethereum is a ridiculous speculative investment… I don’t think it’s going to be much longer before people realize this and start moving coins into Bitcoin.

        • Johnny

          Bitcoin will fail to be a store of value if it can’t be a currency. The masses wont like 10 minute wait times at best when better real replacement currencies exist. There is simply a larger market to be a currency and a sound currency is always a good store of value.

          Bitcoin is only surviving on first mover advantage and will be obsolete if it can’t fix this and service the 99% of the mainstream demand it is leaving on the table.

        • Mike_Robert1

          You people are mental. How in the heck is bitcoin a store of value when it can gain or lose 20% in a week? That is the opposite of a store of value

      • Hosea Baker

        I don’t know anyone invested in Ethereum who is not either also invested in Bitcoin, or would like to be also invested in Bitcoin. Compare the two communities /r/Bitcoin and /r/Ethereum on reddit. Ethereum’s community is not badmouthing Bitcoin. It exists because of Bitcoin, so that would be a rather ridiculous stance to take. Bitcoin being the first blockchain currency, and now acting as the “gateway” cryptocurrency contains a larger percentage of uneducated (I don’t mean that in a bad way) investors. They want in on the craze but either don’t care to know, or don’t yet know what blockchain is, how it works, and why its existence will impact virtually every existing industry. This is an advantage that the Ethereum community has in that if you’re sold on Ethereum, most likely you understand the benefit and potential of a blockchain that has the capability of attaching contracts to transactions.

        No one likes a troll.

      • Mike_Robert1

        You people are mental. How in the heck is bitcoin a store of value when it can gain or lose 20% in a week? That is the opposite of a store of value.

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  • Timothy White

    As I am sure most of you have heard this before I am new to Crypto. Bought into Ethereum a few months back bc I liked what I read about it and where it was heading a few months back and the price predictions for end of year and 2018. I am not invested in Bitcoin and don’t really care to at this point but I do feel more inclined lately to sell off Ethereum and use profits and additional funds to buy into Ripple. I like the idea of being in on something that hasn’t reached over .50 with predictions forecasting a possible of .75-.95 by EOY and 2.00 end of 2018! What do you think of Ripples price predictions for end of year and 2018. Are they too bold like most other Top Ten Cryptos or more legitimate than others.