‘The Merge’ Could Catapult ETH Into The World’s No.1 Crypto
Bitcoin maxis will be disturbed to hear this but it is likely that ETH could Flippen BTC if the much-anticipated merge happens. Optimistic estimates predict that the merge could happen in Q2 of 2022, which might kick off a chain reaction ending with ETH at the top of the crypto food chain.
The signs seem to be all there for ETH to Flippen BTC this year, especially considering that ETH grew a massive 400% in 2021, compared to BTC’s 70% growth in the same period. From a layman’s perspective, this just seems to indicate that the crypto community is much more optimistic about the growth of ETH than it is about the growth potential for BTC. It seems that more people are beginning to buy the story that BTC might just be approaching its highest potential.
It is not without reason that more optimism abounds for ETH than it does for BTC, especially looking at the wide bandwidth of utility that ETH has managed to develop thus far. ETH currently has way more use-cases than BTC, having established itself as the de facto cryptocurrency of DeFi, DAOs, and NFTs, both powerful sub-sectors within crypto.
Another key indicator that reads well for ETH is the number of developers growing interested in ETH and voting with their feet. Approximately 300 developers join ETH every month at the last check, which makes it a total of between 2000-3000 developers already working on the ETH blockchain, compared to the 400 developers that work on the BTC blockchain.
Having the largest developer base in all of crypto keeps ETH fairly nimble and ensures that the platform can move swiftly to adapt to the rapidly changing crypto landscape. Besides, more use-cases could be more easily developed for the ETH blockchain, just because many more people have dedicated time and resources to the platform. No other chain retains the sheer brainpower pushing ideas and use-cases for the Ethereum blockchain. A prime example of this is the much-anticipated ETH 2.0 upgrade.
The ETH 2.0 upgrade is expected to make ETH faster, more ecologically acceptable, and more secure. This merge event, as it has popularly become known as, is expected to be implemented anytime now, and should see the number of ETH transactions per second go up from approximately 30 per second to 1000s a second.
ETH also enjoys the advantage of smart contracts, which further expands the sheer use-case scenario to which the cryptocurrency might be applied. Smart contracts have made ETH the most favorable base platform on which to build Metaverse tokens (MANA, SAND), NFT transactions, and other transactions which demand the use of cryptocurrencies with smart contract capabilities.
NFTs, DAOs, Metaverse, and DeFi all favor ETH transactions more than BTC transactions. Many Metaverse tokens like Sandbox’s SAND and MANA are built on the ETH blockchain, which means that it’s established itself as the base platform for the Metaverse.
The upgrade to ETH 2.0 will also see the platform’s consensus layer shift from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. This shift means that miners in the ecosystem would be replaced by those who are known as validators, even as the ecosystem seeks to use way fewer energy requirements than it currently uses. ETH miners under PoS will no longer need to compete for hash power, which means that the energy requirements for the platform go down as much as 99%. It is also likely that the shift will also drastically reduce gas fees on the ETH platform which have become a painful menace for miners and users alike.
Despite the glowing future that ETH seems to have, it will be extremely difficult for any single cryptocurrency to undo the combination of network effects and first-mover advantage that BTC now enjoys. Whereas BTC was a 0 to 1 move, ETH will forever remain a 1 to n move, where BTC remains to enjoy all the fruits of first-mover advantage alongside the network effect flywheel that it has thus far attained.
This is not ignoring the massive market cap of approximately $900 million that BTC has already accrued, and which is climbing. Things look optimistic for ETH but it will be hard to see how it survives the onslaught mounted by ETH, which has way more developers committed to its ecosystem and a wider variety of use cases across all the major crypto subsectors of NFTs, DeFi, DAOs, and the Metaverse.