Section 1: Dumb Arguments For BTC
“Bitcoin is like gold. You mine it and it’s scarce, so the lack of supply makes it valuable!”
Gold was essentially valueless to the Aztecs. When an object lacks intrinsic fundamental utility (like food, water, conductive metals, etc) its only value is imbued by its culture. Both crypto and computer culture change in the time it takes to refresh Blockfolio so if this is your primary argument - things will stay as they are now, forever - I encourage you to read up on Richard Clarke.
“Currencies are collectively agreed upon placeholders of value so if enough of us say BTC it’s BTC.”
Sure, but why would enough of us say BTC 5 years from now, especially as the community grows 1000x? First mover advantage didn’t hold for MySpace or Napster or Netscape. Their value proposition changed from best in a sparsely populated emergent field to inferior in a moderately populated competitive one as other, superior offerings progressed down the paths they trailblazed.
“Bitcoin is already too far out ahead to lose their standing as the #1 digital currency.”
To crib from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings regarding HBO: “Ethereum can become bitcoin faster than Bitcoin can become Ethereum.”
Section 2: Dumb arguments against Ethereum
“Ethereum is intended to be a world computer, not a digital currency.”
If a currency is a collective cultural agreement of value, and Ethereum truly becomes the world computer, I daresay we collectively will agree that what makes that world computer tick - ETH - is valuable. That’s the whole point of modern cryptoeconomics - connecting groundbreaking computer value with market incentives.
Section 3: The 3 part current crypto landscape
1) An unregulated shitcoin tornado.
No need to break down fraud in granular detail. Only point worth making is that some crypto fraud is outright while most takes the form of idealistic founders launching precocious over-glorified PHD projects that won’t have real world viability until computing makes a literal quantum leap… and they don’t have the runway for their projects or their investors to reach that 5-10 year horizon.
2) Angry cypherpunk cats tied in a Bitcoin sack
The internecine squabbles of cutting edge blockchain computer scientists and devs seems largely (and mercifully) constrained to Bitcoin.
This isn’t to say there isn’t constructive heated debate amongst and between other crypto communities, but they don’t experience biannual Mexican standoffs that threaten the entire enterprise at worst and slow down development at best.
3) The Ethereum dev army
Simply put, a critical mass of the best and brightest cutting edge computer scientists are flocking to General Vitalk the way the best and brightest engineers flock to Elon Musk.
Of course, the more entrepreneurial are launching their own blockchain offerings… mostly on the Ethereum network.
And for the NEO, Iota, Factom’s of the world, they absolutely still have a chance to win a slice of the future… but it stands to reason that if the 800 pound Facebook can acquire or build the same offerings as their 100 pound competitors then the 100 pound Ethereum will do the same to their 10 pound ones.
Again, Ethereum has the mental, social, and monetary capital to win tomorrow if Vitalik plays it right today. And he hasn’t made a misstep yet.
Section 4: Maximalist Scenario
If Ethereum becomes the world computer, as it is the leading candidate to pull off, ETH will have intrinsic value based on utility.
Bitcoin will not.
At some point, the current crypto bubble will burst, wiping out the ICO startups that are unsustainable.
This will paradoxically reduce the value of crypto overall while scared money shifts into Bitcoin and ETH - their slices will grow but the pie will shrink. In fact, short term Bitcoin will likely experience a rise over ETH.
However, in time there are two near certainties:
1) Ethereum will continue to increase its real-world utility, speeding up transactions, reducing costs, connecting computers, data and processing. A second wave of more moderately launched startups will be founded on its platform. This will coincide with the rise of quantum computing, kicking the processing into lightspeed and ultimately turning whatever blockchain platform wins into as much a part of everyday life as htttps is today. Currently, Ethereum is the leading candidate, although it could lose to some IBM or Google hatched platform - although this is highly unlikely as it is not their massive conglomerate’s core competency.
2) The Bitcoin community will invariably engage in further internal brinksmanship. At some point when the value offering of a stable Ethereum with superior growth potential becomes intriguing, a Bitcoin whale will make the switch.
It only will take one or two to start a run on the Bitcoin bank so to speak, at which point it becomes a Zimbabwe dollar sooner rather than later. The value flowing into Ethereum will allow them to further grow their technical and mental advantages into dominance of the functional blockchain arena.
Section Five: tl;dr
Crypto bubble will burst. Value prop for crypto will collapse to the intrinsically, not culturally valuable. As a world computer and leading community of blockchain minds Ethereum/ETH has intrinsic utilitarian value. BTC does not. ETH wins the future.