Is the flippening upon us? Ethereum (ETH) advocates, citing block explorer Etherscan, claim ETH passed bitcoin core (BTC) by reaching 35 million unique addresses, a doubling in something like five months, averaging reportedly 100K a day. The last available figures for BTC addresses had them at roughly 25 million as of spring this year. ETH enthusiasts are insisting this is a positive step in the march to eventually snatching the number one coin spot.
Flippening Close or Just Hopeful Hype?
Hopeful hype is starting again in pockets of the crypto ecosystem, especially among Vitalik Buterin fans and ETH followers. It’s due to their long held belief the world’s second most popular cryptocurrency by market capitalization must eventually replace bitcoin core (BTC) at the top in what’s been dubbed the flippening. Hype is arguably the best word at the moment, if only because of that pesky market capitalization: as of publication, BTC has nearly three times the market cap of ETH, and 24 trading volume seems to follow a similar ratio.
What is causing a restirring of such flippening just might be a relatively recent milestone. According to Etherscan, ETH has pulled out ahead of BTC in unique addresses, gaining at the rate of one hundred thousand per day. The number floating around is rather eye popping: 35 million uniques.
BTC stopped marking the number earlier this year for a variety of reasons, so ETH followers’ celebrations are based mostly on supposition, inference. The last figures available for BTC had unique addresses around 24 million. Still, the leap passed BTC also includes active addresses, perhaps a more profound metric when attempting to make the ETH flippening case: ETH has over 500K, BTC about 25K less.
BTC Might Have Only Itself to Blame
Addresses do not equate to actual users, however. One ETH user can hold many addresses, and in the case of ETH smart contracts are also being smuggled in the numbers. Yet, wallets for the respective cryptos can be telling when placed against the above stats. Ethereum wallet address are reused as a matter of course, while bitcoin core wallet address are frequently particular to each transaction. By every rational theory, BTC should far outstrip ETH in at least this category. As explained, that’s not the case.
Caveats include how the 100K per day number is actually quite a fall off from as soon as the beginning of this year when ETH was clocking 300K per day at times. The Crypto Winter sapped much of those records, and truth is only on-chain activity is being measured (to the exclusion of exchanges, for example). In terms of raw transaction numbers, ETH is crushing BTC, 800K to 200K.
For BTC enthusiasts, however, who insist including the counting of ETH smart contracts to be gilding the lily, cooking the books or whatever, are probably on the weak side of that argument. After all, as bitcoin cash (BCH) is beginning to show, increasing block size would allow for such use cases to have taken place, something the bitcoin core community has stubbornly refused to concede. Add to it gaffs in transaction fees and times, mempool congestion, plaguing BTC at the height of its price and corresponding media coverage only compounded block size issues. Should the flippening happen, the BTC community would have itself to blame.