12 March 2016 – Ethereum hit a major milestone early this morning, reaching a market cap of 1 Billion US Dollars at around 3:15am GMT. Ethereum has enjoyed explosive growth since announcement of the “Homestead” beta phase of development, with a 22% jump in active nodes in a single day, and steady growth since. Ethereum has been the second most traded Cryptocurrency for over a month, but reaching this critical milestone puts Ethereum at a not insignificant percentage of Bitcoin, which holds the highest Market Capitalization at 6.3 Billion.
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Ethereum Market Cap Shows Steady Growth
Ethereum has a unique advantage in the cryptocurrency market in that it offers a Turing-complete scripting language to integrate applications on chain with smart contracts. This has seeded a vast array of startups and projects that use it for interesting and varied applications. It’s even garnered attention from the likes of Microsoft for use with their “Blockchain as a Service” platform, Azure. Before Ethereum, altcoins have essentially been interchangeable with Bitcoin, offering only incremental “improvements” regarding different features and technologies, and have fallen by the wayside as Bitcoin has gained adoption and popularity.
With the block size debate weighing heavy on the Bitcoin community, and as a result, stagnation of Bitcoin development, people have been looking for a serious alternative for cryptocurrency trading. With the intrinsic utility of Ethereum development becoming more and more apparent, a lot of folks are finding it in Ethereum. While that 1 Billion market cap may not be a permanent statistic, Ethereum’s usefulness outside of day trading means this growth likely isn’t just another altcoin bubble.
It will be interesting to see where this trend of growth takes Ethereum both in terms of trading and development. Some posit that an increase in price may prove problematic for some smart contract applications, but continued development will be a stabilizing force that will give Cryptocurrency traders a less volatile baseline than Bitcoin. If there is a cryptocurrency that can overtake or even equal Bitcoin’s market cap, Ethereum looks like the safest bet at present. Either way, Ethereum should be inspiring Bitcoin developers to start innovating to remain competitive as Ethereum grows.
Where do you see Ethereum in the future regarding trading and adoption? Let us know in the comments!
Images Courtesy of Coinmarketcap.com