By Chris Roper
In light of the strain and uncertainty that the coronavirus has placed on global economies, could one of these 5 Contenders finally claim Ethereum’s coveted spot behind Bitcoin.
Many enthusiasts could see the benefit of a decentralised currency long before the rest of the world caught on. Some of these individuals dedicated much of their time towards researching the underlying technology that Bitcoin was built upon.
A young Russian/Canadian programmer named Vitalik Buterin realised that the blockchain technology Bitcoin was built upon had the potential to be used for so much more. Buterin first proposed the need for a new scripting language that could facilitate the development of applications to the Bitcoin network. After failing to gain the support of the community, he set out to create his own platform.
The Ethereum blockchain, powered by Ether (ETH), allows for the deployment of immutable smart contracts, the development of decentralised applications (dApps) and even the launch of new cryptocurrencies.
It has long held the number 2 spot in terms of market capitalisation, but over the years, several new crypto’s have been created that aim to expand on its use cases and functionality, much like Ethereum did with Bitcoin.
Here, we will examine 5 crypto’s that could dethrone Ethereum and claim its place beneath BTC.
In 2017, the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) of EOS became one of the most successful in crypto history. Like Ethereum, it allows for the development of dApps and the deployment of smart contracts but claims to have a much better developed infrastructure than its predecessor.
EOS was created to be a direct competitor with Ethereum, with a goal of improving speed, cost and scalability.
From its inception, EOS has used the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) mechanism. Proof of Stake improves on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol, providing yield and incentivising participation while reducing supply. Unlike EOS, Ethereum has so far employed the energy consuming PoW, with the switch to staking originally planned for January this year. The deadline has now been pushed back to a date yet to be announced. So, could this delay allow EOS to slide into number 2?
Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Unlike EOS, Stellar Lumens was not created to be a direct competitor with Ethereum. The sights of Stellar are firmly set on Ripple (XRP). Created by the co-founder of Ripple, Jed McCaleb, the Stellar network along with its native currency, Lumens, would act much like Ripple with one clear distinction.
Where Ripple is intended to be used by large banks and financial institutions, Stellar is catered toward individuals, particularly the unbanked who would wish to make smaller everyday payments.
Clearly, there is a need for the solution that XLM provides, especially in countries that suffer much hardship. Increased usage could certainly elevate this coin to take Ethereum’s place.
Among our list, Tron can truly claim to have created a decentralised, independent and self-governed network.
Tron is reported to be up to 80,000 times faster than Ethereum and able to process a staggering 2,000 transactions per second, which come without any fees whatsoever.
Cardano is one of the more well-known blockchain projects that makes the list. It is a serious competitor to that token that has long held the number 2 rank, Ethereum.
ADA is the native token that powers the Cardano blockchain, which like Ethereum, can be used to deploy smart contracts and decentralised applications (dApps).
Cardano has improved on the Ethereum model in many ways though and has been developed using a scientific methodology by a vast team of expert engineers and researchers. The network has greater scalability, interoperability and sustainability than its predecessor, which could have it supplant Ethereum in the near future.
The focus of Cardano is full transparency and academic research, which also makes it the worthiest cause to make this top 5. As an investment opportunity, the community that drives the project continues to grow, its use-cases increase, and it retains its position as one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation.
Qtum is another promising competitor for Ethereum’s title. It hybridises the technology of both Bitcoin and Ethereum in an attempt to take the best attributes from both.
Reminiscent of the bitcoin core, Qtum also includes an abstract accounting layer that can facilitate the use of smart contracts using a complex X86 Virtual Machine.
This basically creates an off-layer solution similar to what Bitcoin hoped to achieve through SegWit and its lightning network. As Qtum continues to improve on the models that came before it, this cryptocurrency could certainly claim the number 2 spot with the current uncertainty of the marketplace.
Let’s be honest; there have been many would-be challengers to supplant Ethereum over recent years and so far, all of them have failed the endeavour. Ethereum holds strong and continues to evolve.
But the market leader for decentralised applications and smart contracts should not sit complacent. Any one of the cryptocurrencies listed here could overtake Ethereum if afforded the right catalyst to do so. Many feel that the terrible COVID-19 that continues to plague our lives might allow one of these front runners to finally do the deed.
If this happens, it would be best to buy now while their prices are still relatively low.