Cryptocurrency: Ethereum finally emerges from the shadows
Too long, in my opinion, has Ethereum been considered the 'poor cousin' of Bitcoin. Too much the sidekick, not enough the actual star: more Robin that Batman, more Spock than Captain Kirk, more Gromit than Wallace. It seems, however, Ethereum is finally holding its own.
Frustratingly Bitcoin is the posterchild of crypto: a few years older and thus seen as more credible and established. Increasingly, however, we often see that Bitcoin is the entry point for retail investors, who then diversify in Ethereum, and thereafter into other altcoins. I am interested to note that most of the more vociferous fans of crypto from the traditional banking industry (i.e. Blackrock, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan) tend to limit their comments to Bitcoin. Further, the trail-blazing businesses using crypto as a reserve asset for treasury, such as Tesla and MicroStrategy, have also focused on Bitcoin.
The market data, however, shows a more nuanced picture. Certainly, in terms of performance Ethereum has wiped the floor with Bitcoin. In 2020 the appreciation was more than double – Bitcoin’s gains were a non-too shabby-240% vs Ethereum’s stratospheric 450%.
Rao Paul, considered a sage crypto market analyst, only a few days ago pointed out that Ethereum has only fallen below its initial price against BTC for the first five months of its existence in 2015. While few retail investors trade ETH/BTC it does put to bed the theory that all cryptos tend to follow BTC price movements.
Indeed, whilst the market cap of Bitcoin £822bn dwarves Ethereum’s £181bn, the market dominance figures of the recent past make for interesting reading. Since January 2020, Bitcoin’s dominance has fallen from 69% to 56% whilst Ethereum’s has risen from 7% to 12%.
The use case for Ethereum can be seen as its biggest joy and challenge. Bitcoin seems to be broadly accepted as a potential replacement store of value, and thus heir apparent to our current economic system.
Investors, the media, and a reasonable proportion of the general public have heard of Bitcoin, and, even at a basic level, understand it. Ethereum’s proposition is more complex: it is a more subtle argument about how smart contracts can power a huge variety of innovations in finance, gambling, gaming, advertising, identity management, and supply chain.
Personally, I see Ethereum’s potential market as greater than Bitcoin’s albeit hard to explain to someone new to the industry!
In the near term, I think the trend for NFTs will help lubricate a great discussion of the role of blockchain in all industries in the near future. I can’t help but think that Ethereum may be more palatable for those who see crypto as 'the bogeyman' - a dark force of faceless decentralised, and thus uncontrollable, anonymous revolutionaries. Bitcoin’s anonymous creator (or creators) does not help this fear. Ethereum having a 'real person' as a creator, who regularly appears in public espousing the virtues of his technology and its uses make it considerably less frightening to sceptics.
Recently Ethereum has broken two all-time highs in quick succession: $2k on the 2nd April, and $2,187 ten days later. Ethereum deserves its time in the spotlight, and it would be good to see more mainstream and crypto media giving it the limelight it deserves. I would expect, therefore, in the medium term to see more investors and treasuries alike increasing their Ethereum holdings.
This article was contributed by Katharine Wooller, MD at Dacxi
The Ultimate FinTech & InsurTech LIVE Event
From October 12th-14th, 2021, BizClik’s FinTech & InsurTech live event will bring together influential executives from around the world. Live from London, this three-day event will be an excellent way to finish the year strong, gaining the confidence your company needs to move forward into the future.
With keynote addresses from global leaders, dynamic roundtable discussions, and extensive networking opportunities, FinTech & InsurTech live will expand your network, deliver insight, and enhance your organisation’s reach. Events include a forum on financial services, discussions centred on racial equality and women in fintech, and APAC, EMEA, and US-focused sessions that capture insights from around the world.
The event will include:
- Keynote addresses from respected industry leaders
- Dynamic live roundtables (inc. Q&A)
- Fireside discussions
- Inspirational Speakers & Presentations
- Extensive networking opportunities
Scope Out the Agenda
This week, we’ll share our weekend schedule of events, filled with essential industry topics and keynotes replete with knowledge and insight. Here’s a rundown of the three-day schedule:
Kicking off at 10 AM with a welcome message from our CEO Glen White, the first day of FinTech and InsurTech Live won’t pull any punches. We discuss racial equality, inventive financial services, and cloud migration—and that’s just the morning lineup.
Later on, we’ll cover supplier diversity, AI digital transformation, and fintech sustainability, in addition to cloud and digital transformation in global insurance. Don’t worry—we have a networking lunch in-between events! Finally, we’ll close out the day with online banking, women in fintech, and a recap of Day 1.
First we’ll hear from Scott Birch, our expert BizClik Media Editorial Director and facilitator, live from the Fintech Leaders Stage. We then jump into the future of digital payments, unicorns, and digital insurance brokers. Interested in learning more about digital underwriting and digital payment solutions? You’ve come to the right place.
In the afternoon, we’ll touch on CX in insurance, host a forum on financial services, and discuss what the world might look like as a cashless society, plus the future of challenger and neo banks. Wrapping up, we’ll talk tech and AI in insurance, PayTech, and hear from a surprise inspirational speaker. But we’re not done yet.
As is only fitting, BizClik’s CEO, Glen White, will introduce our APAC sessions, highlighting the critical role that Asia will play in the future of fintech and insurance. Following his remarks, we’ll open up the floor for a chat about digital banking, discuss technology in APAC, and hear from Dipu KV in an iconic keynote address.
After a series of thought leaders and networking sessions, we’ll head into an EMEA-focused session, which includes an EMEA technology panel, a CDO keynote, and a Europe enterprise presentation. In fact, this day’s events span the globe. Next up is a USA regional keynote, followed by a US CIO presentation and talks about enterprise.
A final end-of-event farewell will close out the weekend, wrapping up a successful FinTech and InsurTech global event. Can’t miss it. We look forward to seeing you there!