This Giant Infographic Compares Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Other Major Cryptocurrencies

Ethereum is compared with digital silver because it is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and, like the precious metal, has a wide variety of applications. Ethereum enables building and deploying smart contracts https://www.xcritical.in/ and decentralized applications (dApps) without downtime, fraud, control, or interference from a third party. To accomplish this, Ethereum comes complete with its own programming language that runs on a blockchain.

Instead, they rely on computers running copies of their networks, known as nodes, to ensure every network participant is on the same page. Yes, Ethereum offers faster transactions than Bitcoin, but this advantage comes at a cost. These fees are called “gas” fees, and sometimes they may be insanely high, especially when transactions are small. The main issue with Bitcoin, and with most cryptocurrencies working according to the PoW algorithm, is its energy consumption. Bitcoin is one of the biggest energy consumers among all cryptocurrencies.

All the transactions are stored in an immutable distributed ledger. To understand that, we will use our understanding of Bitcoin, and try to follow what happens to a newly created transaction. First, it must be signed by its creator’s private key to confirm that they authorize the operation, then it’s broadcasted to the network and the users save it in their memory pools. Then, miners can choose to include it in a new block and start mining it.

This is a set of measurements for a cryptocurrency to allow for greater compatibility between multiple digital assets. Ethereum is a DIY platform for decentralized apps (or Dapps) that uses smart contracts. While Bitcoin aims to decentralize money, Ethereum allows the decentralization of every ledger based record, such as voting rights, house registration, medical records and so on.

Today, cryptocurrencies are getting adopted by the most popular payment networks like Visa. Yes, users worldwide can now issue credit cards linked to cryptocurrency. Both bitcoin and ethereum come with significant risk and price volatility. Bitcoin currently uses the operating protocol known as proof-of-work (PoW). The PoW method is resource intensive, meaning that bitcoin uses vast amounts of computing power and electricity to complete transactions and mint new cryptocurrency. Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain technology that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications.


The result is a system that is more secure, transparent, and immutable than traditionally available. But overall, Bitcoin is intended as more of a general-purpose currency for everyday life. Ethereum has been taking a larger share of the market from Bitcoin over the past several years, though Bitcoin retains the industry’s largest market value. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page.

  • Learn what the difference is between the two most popular cryptos and how that might affect their future valuations.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) is older than ethereum and generally slower at processing transactions.
  • Many Ethereum proponents believe Ethereum’s market cap will surpass Bitcoin’s market cap.

That means users can run programs on their computers that help verify the integrity of transactions and prevent fraud. The process is known as “mining,” and it makes it possible https://www.xcritical.in/blog/ethereum-vs-bitcoin-the-two-cryptocurrencies-compared/ for participants to receive cryptocurrency rewards in exchange. Mining uses a huge amount of energy, which has led to significant criticism of cryptocurrency in general.

However, Ethereum’s developers are currently working to switch the network to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, which relies on users to stake tokens as collateral to verify and create blocks. This widely anticipated upgrade is called Ethereum 2.0, and will also involve the implementation of shard chains, which partition the blockchain into smaller pieces in order to streamline on-chain operations. However, where Ethereum differs is in its ability to allow applications to run on top of the network, thanks to its smart contracts. Using Solidity, developers can create and run a wide variety of decentralized applications. Thus, Etheruem found a way to enable third-party applications to run in a decentralized manner, powered by the ETH coin.

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The Ethereum team has announced that they might switch to the proof of stake algorithm. The Ether, a user, offers as a fee is converted into a united that people call “gas.” The gas unit drives the computation, allowing the user’s transaction to be added to the blockchain. But Ethereum has a different purpose, it offers infrastructure, and people just need to use it to build apps on top of it. Over the years, the virtual, decentralized currency concept has gained acceptance among regulators and government bodies. The majority of the Ethereum community decided to help The DAO by “hard forking” the currency, and then changing the blockchain to return the stolen proceeds back to The DAO. The minority thought this idea violated the key foundation of immutability that the blockchain was designed around, and kept the original Ethereum blockchain the way it was.

Cryptocurrencies allow the user to move money semi-anonymously, though the FBI and IRS are getting better at tracking transactions and freezing accounts. It is based on solving complicated mathematical puzzles using the necessary equipment (ASIC miners). The equipment consumes a lot of energy, and it seems to be environmentally not friendly and expensive. The format of the addresses differs a bit – it’s hexadecimal in Ethereum – but the underlying principle is the same in both blockchains. Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two most well-known blockchain protocols, and their respective cryptocurrencies, BTC and ETH, are integral to the fast-expanding world of digital assets.

Bitcoin has a Proof of Work blockchain which is currently composed of 1 megabyte blocks. These blocks are mined on average every 10 minutes by SHA-256 hashing. Bitcoin’s blockchain can process around 4.6 transactions per second.

While BRC-20 does allow for some programmability on the Bitcoin blockchain, it is important to note that it is not a full-fledged smart contract platform like Ethereum. For example, a system called Rootstock is being developed as an “attachment” for the Bitcoin blockchain, which allows smart contract operations to occur off-chain. This could one day allow for dapps to be built that are backed by the Bitcoin network, very similar to what we’ve seen develop with Ethereum. With further technical upgrades, applications may be built to run on the Bitcoin blockchain giving it some of the functionality that smart contracts bring to Ethereum. Over the decade, the cryptocurrency has moved from a transactional token to a store of value for many investors due to its “tried and tested” track record. Bitcoin’s strongest advantage over Ether as an investment lies with scarcity.

Our editors and reporters thoroughly fact-check editorial content to ensure the information you’re reading is accurate. We maintain a firewall between our advertisers and our editorial team. Our editorial team does not receive direct compensation from our advertisers. Also, it allows to focus on bandwidth rather than hashrate like in PoW. MicroStrategy’s BTC holdings averages at 74.3% of its total balance sheet assets, since its first purchase of 21,454 BTC in August 2020. While it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, but let’s take a look how these two crypto giants compare against each other.