On Wednesday, April 15th, Messari researcher Ryan Watkins published a new report titled “Q1 2020 Review: Stablecoins Ascend to New Heights in Global Economic Downturn.”
Therein, the analyst examined how Ethereum was now within striking distance of becoming the cryptoeconomy’s main transaction rail.
Watkins specifically noted that Ethereum’s “daily adjusted transfer value” — the collective value of asset transfers atop a blockchain on a given day — reached the same level as Bitcoin’s for the first time this month.
Namely, both Bitcoin and Ethereum were powering just over $1.5 billion USD worth of daily value transfers as of mid-April 2020.
The development comes after the daily transaction fees generated on Ethereum exceeded those of Bitcoin’s for the first time in September 2019.
Why Has Ethereum Gained Ground?
Pulling within range of Bitcoin’s daily value transfer throughput is a major achievement for the Ethereum ecosystem, insofar as the young Ethereum project isn’t even half as old as Bitcoin and will only turn 5 years old later this year.
The smart contract platform has come very far very fast, in other words.
“Ethereum is becoming the dominant value transfer layer in crypto, Tether cracked the top 3 cryptocurrencies by market cap, and stablecoin challengers have gained serious momentum,” Watkins said.
Indeed, the flurry of recent Ethereum activity can largely be attributed to booming growth in the platform’s stablecoin sector. Bitcoin was designed to do one thing well, payments, whereas Ethereum as a “world computer” has been designed to power many types of transactions and applications. One of the most promising of these apps to date has been stablecoins.
Never has that reality been clearer than over the last month, as markets have teetered toward the edge of a massive international recession upon the global COVID-19 coronovirus pandemic sinking in. This volatile, risk-off environment has sent cryptoeconomy investors packing in droves toward the stability of stablecoins, of which all the notable ones are currently entrenched atop Ethereum.
In a Twitter thread further expounding on Messari report, Watkins noted that “Q1 2020 was stablecoins’ best quarter ever” as the collective market cap of outstanding stablecoins reached over the $8 billion mark for the first time.
Thus all this activity happening around the top stablecoins is being processed by the Ethereum blockchain, which gives Ethereum a big ace up its sleeve when it comes to the ecosystem’s daily value transfer race. No other projects, not even Bitcoin, have anything resembling the robustness of Ethereum’s stablecoin sector for now, so this advantage is set to extend into the foreseeable future, too.
And that’s just talking about stablecoins. When you add in Ethereum’s wider decentralized finance (DeFi) space, as well as the digital collectibles and blockchain gaming sectors that are also currently blooming on Ethereum, and one can see how the smart contract platform may start to run away with things in the not so distant future.
Plus, this is Ethereum catching up in its adolescent form. The blockchain’s transition to the considerably more advanced “Ethereum 2.0” system begins later this year, and that shift will roll out proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus. As such, a new Ethereum staking industry and an optimized blockchain should only make the platform that much attractive for settling transactions.
If Ethereum does end up becoming the premier value transfer layer in the cryptoeconomy, the space’s second decade is set to look much different than its first, wherein Bitcoin lorded as king of the hill. In the very least, new data shows Ethereum has never been more useful than it is today, which is still a lot to say.