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Analysts Deconstruct Bitcoin vs. Ethereum Debate As Alts Outperform

Simon Chandler
Last updated: | 3 min read

Crypto analysts and industry figures took a closer look at the Bitcoin (BTC) vs. Ethereum (ETH) and altcoins debate, amid a bull market in which ETH and numerous altcoins are continuously outperforming BTC.

Source: Adobe/tomertu

BlockTower Capital founder Ari Paul has criticized the umbrella term ‘altcoins’ while noting that such coins have outdone bitcoin on many occasions. Meanwhile, analyst Willy Woo has shared a number of metrics which, while showing that BTC is a better long-term bet, also show that ETH has offered the highest — and quickest — gains.

The never-ending debate

The Bitcoin vs. Ethereum and altcoins debate has obviously never gone away. However, with a range of altcoins outperforming BTC, it seemed to regain some of its former intensity.

First, Kraken’s Dan Held used the old trigger, claiming that ETH is not money. Needless to say, this quickly drew a response from people involved or associated with Ethereum. Mythos Capital founder — and frequent ETH booster — Ryan Sean Adams replied that the market will decide whether ethereum is money or not.

Things heated up later in the week, as a number of altcoins cemented their leads over bitcoin across the past seven days. At the time of writing (15:02 UTC), cardano (ADA) is now 113% up over the past week, the troubled XRP is 34% up, binance coin (BNB) is 144% up, and Elon Musk-pumped dogecoin (DOGE) is 94% up. Also, there are more than a dozen cryptoasets from the top 100 club that are up by 100%-200% and more in the past seven days.

By contrast, bitcoin is ‘only’ 27% up during a week (however it outperformed ETH that increased 8%) when Tesla disclosed a USD 1.5 billion investment in the cryptocurrency. This has left some bitcoin maximalists with a bitter taste in their mouths, none more so than Xsquared Ventures partner and BTC investor Brad Mills.

Also, this led to Ari Paul making fun of “salty” BTC maximalists, who he claims fail to see that bull and bear altcoin markets are part of a cycle, and not the sign of some imminent collapse.

Paul also took issue with the term ‘altcoin,’ claiming that the BTC vs altcoins debate is “outdated” (and isn’t even really a debate). He argued that the term misleadingly lumps together tokens which are substantially different, implying that you can’t use one ‘shitcoin’ to dismiss something that may have genuine utility.

What do the numbers say?

As if wanting to settle the debate once and for all (or for now), analyst Willy Woo chimed in with a variety of metrics which chart the performance of bitcoin and ethereum across several dimensions.

Bitcoin has been ‘in the money’ the longest, in the sense of its realized price (the price last paid for coins in circulation) being higher than its actual price for the most time.

However, ethereum has provided the highest peak profit, in that the highest gain it ever offered (back in July 2017) was 6.2x the then-realized price of ETH. By contrast, bitcoin’s highest ever peak profit is 4.4x, provided back in December 2017.

Likewise, ethereum rose from 1x to 6.2x peak profit in only five months, while it took 13 months for bitcoin to rise from 1x peak profit to 4.4x.

Even though ETH has offered more dramatic — and faster — gains, Woo closed his thread by noting that bitcoin has declined less from past highs.

He, therefore, concluded that “BTC is a better multi-cycle HODL,” while “ETH is a better mid-macro swing trade.”

Meanwhile, Paul said that the only cryptocurrency he recommends as a 5+ year passive investment is bitcoin, which is competing on “longevity, stability, and brand” and is unlikely to be “outcompeted” as a settlement layer and store of value.

“In a relatively new asset class, I don’t think I can predict which startups will win long-term,” Paul said, admitting that there’s huge real value already being created on many platforms.

But as well-supported as these observations are, they’re unlikely to resolve much of the acrimony between bitcoin maximalists and altcoiners. Still, this acrimony does keep things interesting between market peaks, while this kind of competition might help crypto users eventually.

Meanwhile, the world’s richest person, Elon Musk, will keep doing his thing:

Learn more:
DeFi vs. Bitcoin Debate Starts a New Round
Bitcoin vs. Ethereum Fight Escalates amid Fresh Capital Entering the Space
ETH ‘Insanely Cheap,’ DeFi To Rally, BTC Dominance to Drop – Pantera Capital CIO
Ethereum Needs To Clean Its Value Proposition – Coinbase
Why the Bitcoin vs. Ethereum ‘Rivalry’ Benefits Both Tokens
The Salty Battle of Two Bs – Bitcoin’s Adam Turns Back on Ethereum’s Vitalik