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Wednesday May 16, 2018 - 13:11:52 GMT
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Is the flippening coming? Ethereum predicted to overtake Bitcoin this year

For the past 12 months, there have been those in the crypto world who have become obsessed with the flippening – the moment that Bitcoin gets surpassed by another cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. It started back in June 2017, when ETH’s market cap was more than 80 percent of Bitcoin’s and rising by the day.

Over the remainder of 2017, Ethereum market cap dropped off, while Bitcoin’s steadily rose till that ratio went all the way down to less than 20 percent in December. But throughout the opening months of 2018, there have been those dedicated to sitting on flippening watch.

With Ethereum showing steady and sustained growth over recent months and Bitcoin as unpredictable as ever, many commentators are saying it is a case of when, not if, the flippening happens.

From the horse’s mouth

If there is one person who knows the crypto space well, it is Roger Ver. The serial investor was one of the early adopters in the Bitcoin space and describes it as “the most important invention in the history of the world since the internet.” If you think that makes him in some way partisan and “pro-Bitcoin” you couldn’t be more wrong.

Ver is certain that the flippening is coming, and it is only a matter of months. He told UK newspaper The Independent: “Ethereum could overtake Bitcoin by the end of the year and Bitcoin Cash could do the same before 2020.”

He feels Bitcoin is stymied by the increasing costs and transaction times that have accompanied the cryptocurrency’s rise in popularity. As blockchain continues to gain wider use and adoption, Ver believes that this pattern will only increase and that the world is already seeing that Ethereum is a better alternative.

Is Ethereum ready?

Scalability has always been one of the biggest challenges for any cryptocurrency, but there is a sense that Ethereum, with its charismatic young founder Vitalik Buterin, is facing up to these challenges more effectively. Developers have been working on innovative methods of database sharding, while off-chain transactions are another avenue being explored to relieve some of the burden from the blockchain itself. Also, read about Ethereum’s new consensus protocol called Hybrid Casper on to see the significant investment Buterin is pouring into meeting scalability concerns head on.

Does the flippening matter?

While in certain quarters, the finance world seems to be as obsessed with the flippening as the sports world will soon be with the football World Cup, many more are treating the entire debate with a shrug of the shoulders. Does it really matter which out of Bitcoin, Ethereum or something else has the greater market capitalization?

There are those who argue that the two cryptocurrencies are serving different needs and therefore it is not a matter of which is “winning or losing.” After all, both Bitcoin and Ethereum are seeing steady growth in market capitalization, and surely if that continues, both can be considered “winners.”

Perhaps the most important consequence of the flippening, if and when it happens, is a conceptual one. It will demonstrate once and for all that cryptocurrency does not just mean Bitcoin, and that Ethereum is more than just an altcoin but is an increasingly important player that will shape the future of the cryptocurrency landscape.

Equally importantly, it will raise the question of whether other altcoins that have seen performance peaks over recent months can truly come to the fore. Flippening represents far more than a simple two horse race between two providers. It could change our perception of the entire blockchain market.



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