Andreas Antonopoulos doesn’t foresee any change in the positions of the top two digital currencies by market capitalisation any time soon. The author, computer scientist, and long-time cryptocurrency advocate believes the first mover advantages of Bitcoin and Ethereum will be impossible to overcome.
Bitcoin currently enjoys a comfortable market capitalisation lead over its nearest rival, Ethereum. Ethereum too has a large advantage over the next largest smart contract platform, EOS.
There Will be No Flippening, Says Antonopoulos
Bitcoin and Ethereum have reigned supreme in their respected niches for long enough that displacing either is all but impossible, according to respected cryptocurrency proponent Andreas Antonopoulos. The industry expert gave opinions on the matter during a recent video interview broadcast on the Ivan on Tech YouTube channel. In response to a question about the likelihood of a rival smart contract platform overtaking Ethereum, he argued that first mover advantages were incredibly difficult to overcome:
“I think it’s very, very difficult to disrupt the network effect of an early starter.”
Basically @aantonop says below: Ethereum won’t overtake Bitcoin and other smart contract platforms won’t overtake Ethereum. The network effects are already too strong. I said the same months ago too.https://t.co/Y5VIZ82wUb
— BitcoinEconomics.io (@BitcoinEcon) November 28, 2019
Antonopoulos went on to argue that, thanks to the sheer weight of activity surrounding the respective networks, it would be almost impossible for a rival digital gold-like asset or smart contract platform to surpass either cryptocurrency. Not only is development activity important but market activity (volume and liquidity) and even social activity. The cryptocurrency author mentioned seemingly more trivial things like t-shirts, books, and conferences as also contributing to the overall power of the network effect enjoyed by first movers.
For Antonopoulos, Bitcoin is already the de facto digital currency representing the hardest monetary policy ever and Ethereum has secured itself sufficient network effect to see it remain ahead of the other smart contract platforms out there:
“Ethereum can’t displace Bitcoin because they’re fundamentally different and Bitcoin has the early advantage network effect in a particular niche of super sound, super uncensorable money.”
He went on to state that even if a rival has better technology than Ethereum, the smart contract “niche is fully occupied”. The power of being an early mover means that the network has been able to grow much larger than its competition. This size makes developing on Ethereum more attractive too. Antonopoulos described a wider existing knowledge pool for developers to learn from, more software examples available, and better developer tools already out there as being a powerful lure to those wanting to build on blockchain systems.
After admitting he might be wrong, saying that there could indeed be some massive system-killing failure in either Bitcoin or Ethereum that could shake up the current market capitalisation distribution, Antonopoulos said:
“Just as Ethereum is not going to achieve a flippening over Bitcoin, just like all of Bitcoin’s competitors are not going to achieve a flippening over Bitcoin, I don’t see any other smart contract platform achieving a flippening over Ethereum.”
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