Vitalik Buterin was only 15 years old when Bitcoinwas officially launched on the 3rd of January in 2009. Less than five years later, at the age of 19, Buterin released a white paper describing a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality. The platform that Buterin was defining is today known as Ethereum, which is linked to Ether (ETH), the second largest digital currency on the planet.
The Ethereum network was rolled out to the general public on 30 July 2015, and ETH quickly became one of the most heavily traded tokens within the cryptocurrency universe. Today, ETH has a market capitalization of $362 million, second only to Bitcoin with a market cap of $788 billion. Many investors in the crypto ecosystem believe that ETH will eventually surpass BTC in terms of market capitalization. Will ETH become the largest digital currency on the planet? Let’s discuss the details.
In 2015, the market capitalization of ETH was only $7 million. At the end of 2021, its market cap had expanded to $438 billion. This represents an increase of 625,800% over the course of seven years.
The market capitalization of Bitcoin expanded 13,438% from 2015 through 2021. Even though the value of Bitcoin increased dramatically during this period of time, ETH handily outperformed BTC. Most likely, this trend will continue well into the future. The reason is simple: Ethereum has substantially more use cases than Bitcoin. Unlike Bitcoin, developers can program Ethereum to build innovative decentralized applications. Once these applications are uploaded to the Ethereum blockchain, they will always run exactly as programmed.
During the past few years, thousands of developers all over the world have been building applications on Ethereum. Currently, over 3,000 applications are operating on the Ethereum blockchain. A few examples include: cryptocurrency wallets, financial applications, non-fungible tokens and decentralized markets such as DeFi. More Fortune 500 companies use Ethereum than any other cryptocurrency for their blockchain projects.
Based on the current growth rate, ETH will exceed the market capitalization of BTC by 2026. Of course, if the Ethereum ecosystem grows at a more rapid rate, the market cap of ETH will exceed BTC much sooner than 2026. Most crypto experts agree that ETH will eventually become the leader in terms of market capitalization.