Ethereum rallies to a record, stealing Bitcoin's spotlight: we're talking crypto applications

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 by Robinhood Snacks |
_"Take a seat, Bitcoin... Ethereum is back" [Simon D. Warren/The Image Bank via Getty Images]_

"Take a seat, Bitcoin... Ethereum is back" [Simon D. Warren/The Image Bank via Getty Images]

Satoshi is shaking... In January, Bitcoin made up 70% of total crypto value — yesterday, Bitcoin's share of crypto market cap fell below 50%. That's partly thanks to Ethereum (technically: Ether), the second-largest cryptocurrency. Ether hit a record $3.4K yesterday, and has rallied ~300% this year. Like Bitcoin, Ether is traded as a digital currency. But it has key differences...

  • No cap... Literally. Unlike Bitcoin, which is capped at 21M coins, Ethereum currently has no total supply limit.
  • App-focus: Ether powers Ethereum, a blockchain technology that developers use to build "decentralized apps" (#dapps).

dapps = real term... Similar to how iOS and Android are used to build smartphone apps, Ethereum's platform is used to build dapps. Unlike Instagram or PayPal, these decentralized apps aren't controlled by a single authority. Instead of living on Facebook's servers, a decentralized app could be hosted across thousands of computers across the world. When you upload a YouTube video, it's stored on Google's servers and Google can take it down. With Ethereum, control is decentralized.

  • DeFine: Ether's rally has been attributed in part to a growing number of developers building "decentralized finance" (DeFi) apps on Ethereum.
  • DeFi: DeFi apps go beyond just buying/selling crypto. They replace financial "middlemen" like banks and credit card companies, to facilitate direct loans and other transactions with Ether.

Crypto mainstreamification is going beyond coins.... The crypto spotlight has expanded from Bitcoin to other coins like Ether and Doge. But there's also growing excitement about the applications of crypto and blockchain tech (like: DeFi apps). NFTs, the collectible digital assets that have gone viral recently, mostly live on the Ethereum blockchain. Also: The European Investment Bank just issued $120M worth of bonds on the Ethereum network.