Blockchain Bites: Bitcoin Crosses $11K While DOJ Takes Aim at Crypto

Ethereum’s success drives imitation.

Just take a look at the latest report from the crypto-industry publication DappRadar: In the third quarter of 2020, Ethereum accounted for 96% of the total transaction volume over decentralized applications, including the blockchain-based trading and lending networks that have exploded in popularity in recent months.

Prices for ether (ETH), the Ethereum blockchain’s native token, have nearly tripled in 2020 to about $350. Such returns make better-known bitcoin’s 52% year-to-date gain look paltry.

CoinDesk is preparing for the invest: ethereum economy virtual event on Oct. 14 with a special series of newsletters focused on Ethereum’s past, present and future. Every day until the event the team behind Blockchain Bites will dive into an aspect of Ethereum that excites or confuses us. Today’s introduction was written by markets editor Bradley Keoun.

But success has brought a slew of problems, such as network congestion that has slowed down transaction processing and pushed up average fee rates to record levels.

Ethereum’s 2.0 upgrade is supposed to boost processing speeds to 1,000 to 4,000 transactions per second, but for now the grumbling abounds. “Scalability has been a critical issue for Ethereum,” the analysis firm IntoTheBlock noted this week in a blog post.

All this creates an opening for competitors that are nowhere near ready to concede Ethereum’s first-mover advantage as the dominant smart-contract blockchain.


Ten best-performing, smart-contract blockchain tokens with a market capitalization of at least $100 million, ranked by their returns over the past year versus ether.
Source: Messari

The list of challengers isn’t short. In no particular order, there’s Tron, EOS, Neo, Polkadot, Algorand, Cardano and Avalanche, among others. According to the data firm Messari, no fewer than 17 of these blockchains have tokens that trade, with market values of at least $100 million each.

Over the past…

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