Ethereum (ETH) may be second to Bitcoin (BTC) but it is not like any other cryptocurrency. In fact, it has proven its need for existence much like Bitcoin (BTC). This need for existence is based on the hundreds of cryptocurrencies built on Ethereum (ETH) which makes it a de facto master of the cryptocurrency markets and truly a force to be reckoned with. Despite its recent trouble with the SEC over its status as a potential security and disagreements among developers, Ethereum (ETH) has continued to grow with a lot more zeal than before.
Currently, Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) have a difference of $75 Billion in terms of market cap. This difference could be bridged should Ethereum (ETH) grow more vigorously against Bitcoin (BTC) in the coming weeks. It should be noted that last year Ripple (XRP) overtook Ethereum (ETH) in market cap briefly to secure second spot but that did not last for long. Bitcoin (BTC) though has yet to be taken down by another coin, even for short term.
Ethereum (ETH) overtaking Bitcoin (BTC) in terms of market cap is referred to as “The Flippening” in crypto speak. There are websites that show how close Ethereum (ETH) has been to overtaking Bitcoin (BTC) and the probability of it happening in the future. However, there is a reason why it has not happened so far. Bitcoin (BTC) was the first coin to enter the crypto market and the level of adoption it has is unmatched by any other coin, Ethereum included. More importantly, Bitcoin (BTC) is the gateway to crypto markets. In order to buy Ethereum (ETH), most investors will first have to buy Bitcoin (BTC). This is even truer of other coins. Similarly, to convert Ethereum (ETH) back to fiat, most investors will first have to convert it to Bitcoin (BTC).
While it might seem difficult today, Ethereum (ETH) can overtake Bitcoin (BTC) in the future when the abovementioned factors are no longer an impediment to “The Flippening”. This could be when Bitcoin (BTC) grows so big that it is considered as digital gold and is treated as such. Similarly, Ethereum (ETH) will serve as a gateway to building Dapps and paying for relevant services. While the crypto market will ultimately comprise of blockchains and Dapps, it makes sense to think Etheruem (ETH) could be top coin when that level of adoption is reached. However, in order for that to happen, the current issue with Ethereum (ETH) in terms of scalability, decentralization, consensus and changes to code will have to be resolved.
The legal status of Ethereum (ETH) could be in jeopardy but given the repercussions of a move to term Ethereum (ETH) as a security on the rest of the market, it will most likely not be pursued. The real trouble however seems to be brewing on the inside with a lot of developers being unhappy about how Vitalik Buterin is not prepared to give up control which is in turn leading to more centralization, thus steering Ethereum (ETH) away from its true vision. However, as time goes by and the crypto space matures, it is likely that these issues will be resolved systemically and when that happens, maybe we will see Ethereum (ETH) leading the show.