It is no secret that there is a bitter battle being fought between Ripple (XRP) and Ethereum for the second-place spot in the crypto market capitalisation arena. Ethereum has long enjoyed its lofty second place position which has been born out of being an alternative to Bitcoin. Now though, it is under fire from Ripple who also provide an alternative to Bitcoin, but more-over, potentially provides a more marketable alternative.
Altcoins and Bitcoin
For many years, altcoins have threatened to rise up and take down the juggernaut that is Bitcoin. For the most part, this is a lot of hot air and hype as no one has really come close to knocking Bitcoin off the top spot. That is, except for Ethereum.
Ethereum is a great alternative to Bitcoin because it utilises blockchain technology in a completely different way and has innovative and potentially widespread mainstream applications with smart contract functionality. As a platform it also has great adaptability with companies being able to adopt the Ethereum platform and fit it to their business.
Bitcoin in comparison, is far more rudimentary. Instead, Bitcoin’s success stems from it being the first crypto as well as it being a simple and functional (albeit with some annoying problems).
Ethereum has for many years been seen as the safe alternative to Bitcoin that doesn’t completely tear up the rulebook and offers investors something better as well as different.
Then Ripple came along and where Ethereum sought to convince people there was a better way, Ripple sought to force people into seeing there was a better way. Ripple tore up the rulebook, used crypto investors to further their currency goals and gave away Ripple by the shed load to any mainstream financial institution that looked to use Ripple as a payment system.
This mass give-away sparked outrage in the crypto community but it also aggressively put Ripple on the map. Before long, Ethereum had a real competition on its hands. In fact, Ripple even took the second-place spot for a short time.
Ethereum is quite valuable and holds its market capitalisation as a happy balance between being a commodity and having plenty of Ether in circulation.
Ripple as a currency is almost valueless and holds position because of the sheer volume of XRP in circulation. The payment protocol of Ripple however is valuable, and this props up the value of the Ripple token.
This is going to be a close and hard-fought battle on both sides. Ripple developers are incredibly aggressive in how they install the platform into real-world environments where as Ethereum prefer to let investors see the value and implement it how they want to.
Interestingly, Ripple may win the war, but without having the better product. The settlement system of Ripple is great and fast and clean, but the smart contracts of Ethereum are a pre-cursor to AI and automation and that is truly innovative and exciting stuff.
Ripple is also currently facing a class action lawsuit for the aforementioned mass give-away of Ripple – this internal war between Ripple and its investors might well win Ethereum the day.