Bitcoin is the boss, but will Ethereum or Ripple ever catch up? Don’t hold your breath.
Stop the average person on the street and ask them about cryptocurrency, and the first thing that will likely pop into their mind is Bitcoin — and for good reason. Bitcoin (BTC) is the first and the foremost cryptocurrency, spending its entire lifespan on the top of the charts and currently maintaining a total market dominance of 38 percent.
The total market capitalization of the daddy of all cryptocurrency is currently $157,278,660,984. Its two biggest competitors, Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP), hold market caps of $65,102,740,409 and $32,960,281,191, respectively. Thus, as it stands right now, neither cryptocurrency is even close to sniffing at Bitcoin’s heels — but will they ever?
In order for either Ethereum or Ripple to catch up and surpass BTC, it would take an extreme amount of price action over a lengthy period of time. Ben Way, CEO of Digits.io, told Forbes:
It would take a price surge that completely outpaces Bitcoin and for a sustained period of time. Markets are not always rational and currently Bitcoin is the gold standard in the market because it is the currency everybody knows about.
In other words, for the average person who doesn’t know any better, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are synonymous. As such, BTC is the dominant brand — and it’s unlikely Ethereum or Ripple will boast that kind of brand power anytime soon.
Darren Marble, CEO of CrowdFundX, agrees with that logic, telling Forbes:
I don’t think Ethereum or Ripple will ever beat Bitcoin […] First, Bitcoin is a power brand. The majority of mainstream news stories are about Bitcoin, not Ripple. Bitcoin owns the brand equity in the market, and this cannot be underestimated.
Bitcoin First to the Party
Meanwhile, Rewards.com’s VP of Marketing, Michael Shepherd, explained that BTC was first to the party and, as such, will maintain its lead for quite some time. He told Forbes:
Being first to market, ‘Bitcoin’ is almost a household name and reaps the benefits of free marketing and branding. I believe in order for anyone to unseat Bitcoin from the number 1 position, they will need to be the first to transparently integrate their currency with current forms of payment options […] By taking cryptocurrency mainstream, and allowing it to be used like any other form of payment, they can hit a user segment that has largely been untapped by current cryptocurrencies.
There is one way that Ethereum or Ripple could beat out Bitcoin, though, according to Blue Chip Vision’s Managing Director, Robert Masters. He explained to Forbes:
It may be possible for either Ripple or Ethereum to beat the market cap of Bitcoin in the long term if future protocol enhancements are implemented and with the continued backing of global financial heavyweights.
Nevertheless, don’t expect such a scenario to happen anytime soon. It’s clear that Bitcoin will maintain its dominance for, at least, the foreseeable future.
Do you think Ethereum or Ripple will ever surpass Bitcoin, or do you think Bitcoin will maintain its gold standard qualities for decades to come? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Pexels, CoinMarketCap.com, Shutterstock.