Flippening: Will it ever happen?
Bitcoin has been a leader in cryptocurrency industry for all of its existence. Is there any other alternative to BTC and do we need it after all?
If you’ve been in the cryptocurrency space for more than a month, chances are you’ve come across the term flippening. Here’s a brief explanation of it.
Despite the bearish trend that prevails in the crypto market for about six months, the industry continues to develop. Companies are making new blockchain solutions, improving consensus algorithms and announcing the “killers” of major cryptocurrencies. Three assets remain market leaders in terms of capitalization: Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. They have achieved and continue to hold their positions for various reasons. Since the end of 2017, no one has managed to shift the paradigm of main cryptocurrencies.
The Father of all cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin was the first implementation of blockchain. Decentralized e-money, which solves the problem of trust and gives users equal rights. The impulse that Bitcoin received in 2008 was so strong that it allowed the technology to outpace modern solutions 10 years ago.
The coin has disadvantages: scalability, pseudonymity and gradual centralization due to industrial mining pools. But the developers of the Bitcoin Core software client are working hard on ways to improve the main cryptocurrency, and enthusiasts offer offline solutions and hardforks that take the best from Bitcoin and fix its disadvantages. Perhaps that’s why the first cryptocurrency has been leading the market since its inception.
In addition to programmers, entrepreneurs, and large holders, Bitcoin has something else — the love and recognition of the community. A kind of cultural halo that makes people get around coins believe in their growth. They invent new words, memes, publicity, channels, merch, tattoos, meetings and even holidays (Bitcoin Pizza Day). All of these signs accompany the formed subcultures. And the cryptoculture created by Bitcoin can be considered as a separate layer of society, which unites different people and gives them faith in a free and successful future.
Nevertheless, there is a concept called flippening. This is a possible situation where Bitcoin will no longer be the first cryptocurrency in terms of capitalization and the value of altcoins will no longer be directly correlated with the price of BTC. The main contender for Bitcoin’s place is Ethereum.
According to flippening.watch, at the time of writing, the capitalization of ETH is roughly 12% of the Bitcoin capitalization. However, on July 13, 2017, this figure was above 83%.
The most ambitious cryptocurrency
Ethereum has become a new round of blockchain development. Vitalik Buterin, the developer of cryptocurrency, realized that decentralized algorithms can be used not only as a means of exchanging and storing value but also for other purposes.
This is how ICO appeared, which turned the world of investment upside down. Later, decentralized applications (dApps) began to develop, and many people consider them to be basic bricks of the new Internet — web 3.0.
Again, the Ethereum has disadvantages, on fixing which developers have been working for many years. At the same time, some of the weaknesses creators foresaw in the beginning and planned several major updates.
The Ethereum system has been working quite successfully since 2013 and today is the leader in the number of launched projects. Ethereum Foundation members announce the completion of the global update Metropolis within 2 years, investors invest in new projects, traders trade on the largest decentralized ETH exchange IDEX, and users play games and master social networks on blockchain.
Ethereum can be called a direct heir to Bitcoin, which took its basis (blockchain) and adapted it to a wider range of application. Therefore, ETH is deservedly following the first cryptocurrency and can replace it in the long run. However, the practice has shown that it is possible to conquer the market without the ideology of freedom, equality and openness, which were laid down in Bitcoin. And the ripple is a vivid example of this.
Another alternative from Ripple
XRP helps banks. The 100 richest wallets in the Ripple system own 81% of all funds, 20% of XRP belong to the owners of the company, and the company itself has full control over the network.
Ripple’s strategy is very simple: to give the establishment what it wants from the cryptocurrency — all its advantages, but with control and stability. And despite the obvious aversion to the ideological followers of the cryptocurrency, Ripple continues to find new partners among banks and companies, donate money to blockchain training.
At the end of 2017, XRP showed striking growth rates even against the background of the rest of the market. Then, for the first time, the network started to talk about rippening (by analogy with flippening) — a hypothetical situation where not the ETH but XRP will replace Bitcoin at its dominating place.
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