Ethereum will not replace Bitcoin, but is more decentralized.
After making a comparison between Bitcoin and Ethereum networks growth, Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin Core former head of development clarified comments he made through his Twitter account last September 25:
Gavin Andresen (@gavinandresen): Ethereum has more nodes today than Bitcoin. Prediction: it’s lead will grow even as its blockchain size exceeds bitcoin’s.
Many interpreted this tweet as a prediction about that Ethereum will replace Bitcoin as the most important cryptocurrency in the world, but Andresen said that it was not the case. In a recent interview Gavin Andresen made the clarification of his comments, saying that Ethereum is an example of how a more flexible protocol can remain decentralized.
One of the points against increasing the size of Bitcoin transactions block is the risk that this becomes centralized, since larger blocks require more bandwidth and storage space causing the abandonment of smaller nodes operators. He also said Ethereum shows how a much larger Blockchain can remain decentralized, the Ethereum network has approximately 6,000 nodes compared with Bitcoin that has 5,000.
“If I’m correct, and the size of the chain has nothing to do with the number of nodes (but is a reflection of how useful people find the chain to accomplish whatever they’re trying to accomplish), then it seems very likely that next year Ethereum will be even less centralized (as measured by the number of nodes on their network) than Bitcoin even as its blockchain size exceeds the Bitcoin blockchain’s size.” Andresen said.
Despite this comparison and controversy it has caused, the intensity of current Bitcoin or its position as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has not diminished.
He also said: “That doesn’t mean Bitcoin will be dead or that ether will replace bitcoin as the number one cryptocurrency,” Andresen said. “5,000 nodes is plenty, it won’t matter much if Ethereum ends up with 100,000 — ordinary people don’t know or care how many nodes are relaying or validating their transactions.”
Andresen still thinks of a role in the future for Bitcoin, but it is no longer actively writing code for Bitcoin Core. Andresen still has much influence in the cryptocurrency world. He has spoken against the block size limit of 1 MB in the past, saying the current blocks are more complete than what many believe. For now he is considering the role he wants to play being part of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency world.
“Lots of smart people are doing lots of interesting things, which is fantastic … I have the luxury of being able to take some time to step back and decide what I want my role to be.”
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