Since 2013 altcoin after altcoin has tried and failed to replace Bitcoin as the number one cryptocurrency on the market. It is fascinating how Bitcoin persists even though other coins may be faster, cheaper to move, or even arguably more secure. One lesson from all of this is the best technology is not always the most widely used technology. Altcoins launched, many of which strived to replace Bitcoin, and then came Ethereum and all the rules changed.
The discussions from the Crypto Community in 2013 are full of excitement about Bitcoin and illustrate how the Crypto Community believed Bitcoin would one day replace fiat currency. As a store of value, Bitcoin and many cryptocurrencies have thrived. The market has grown to the point that it has been called a bubble hundreds of times by prominent people in the media. Is Bitcoin revolutionary? Yes. Is Bitcoin an effective currency…in many respects, yes. Could Bitcoin become so much more than currency? Yes, it could.
More than Cryptocurrency
When Bitcoin was gaining popularity in mid-2013, many discussions started to focus on smart contracts and how they would one day replace attorneys. In the United States where litigation and fear of litigation is a way of life, the possibilities of reducing the need for third parties to enforce legal contracts is an incredibly appealing idea. But as we can all see, smart contracts can do more than just replace legal documents. In the world of cryptocurrency, smart contacts are essentially software that moves money. With the invention of Ethereum, the world was given the power to create and deploy smart contracts, to program the movement of money, all without needing an entire IT infrastructure. For the first time in human history the Open Source Community merged with the Blockchain Community and produced a unified computer network that did more than just share information, it acted on that shared information. Bitcoin is a shared computer network that performs math, but Ethereum is a shared computer network that can act on ideas.
Ethereum will outlive many other altcoins and certainly deserves to be called a peer of Bitcoin because it actually achieved something Bitcoin has not. It is not just that Ethereum is better technology, which it is. It is not just that Ethereum enables shared computing power that can do more than math, which it does. But what Ethereum has achieved is the combination of better technology, shared computing, and strong community. Ethereum may have the largest altcoin community with a purpose. The Litecoin community is or was probably bigger but what actually makes an organization is not people, but people with a shared purpose, a shared vision, and the empowerment to act.
In short, Ethereum is empowerment.
The Power of Power
What is the one thing all people want? It is not money, it is not fame, it is not love…it is power. We all want at least some degree of control over our own lives and the world around us. We want to influence our world, for our own gain, or for benefit of others, but influence is just another word for power. Power is a base element. Money and fame sit on top of power and are simply tools we use to control the world around us. Bitcoin provides additional control over our own money in a way that is so revolutionary that it is shaking the very foundation of the financial markets. The power of Bitcoin is clearest in the fear it provokes. The negative reactions to Bitcoin have been unjustified and extreme. Anger is based on fear, and fear is based on the belief of an impending loss of power.
If money is not real power, what is? Real power comes when you are not simply experiencing freedom, but using tools to create more freedom for yourself and those you care about. Real power frees others to have their own real power. That is what Ethereum does better than any other altcoin that has ever been created and that is why Ethereum is here to stay.
Ethereum was built not to replace Bitcoin, but to change the world. It was built with the idea that it had to be able to evolve and accept the new ideas people would bring forth. In addition, Ethereum has leaders, a community, and like Bitcoin continues to become the foundational technology behind hundreds of new projects, platforms, and community goals. Bitcoin is the most popular coin because it was the first. It may never lose the top spot, but unlike most of the other altcoins, Ethereum changed the game and that makes it more like Bitcoin than any of the other altcoins. Ethereum and Bitcoin are both tools of empowerment and together are changing the world.