Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH] have different niches, says Andreas Antonopoulos

Andreas Antonopoulos, a Bitcoin expert and author of ‘Internet of Money,’ discussed the contrasting use cases and goals of Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains in a recent interview. He said that the two blockchains’ use cases cannot be performed by the other.

“Essentially the two systems ETH and BTC evolved in divergent directions and they can occupy different niches but they can’t actually occupy the same niches at the same time.”

Even though maximalists from both sides urge that the use cases of one can be performed by the other blockchain, Antonopoulos claimed that it was ‘meaningless.’ He admitted that any blockchain with a different use case can only achieve this partially, and not outperform the original blockchain.

Bitcoin, which strives to become global money, is vastly different from that of Vitalik Buterin’s Ethereum, Antonopoulos said. He asserted that the latter’s core was different from that of the former, not in terms of application, but in terms of design choices and engineering of the two blockchains. He said,

“It’s in its DNA, the two systems have been evolved, not in the random mutation but a direct evolution perspective.”

The author further suggested that the initial design decisions and trade-offs made for Bitcoin facilitated the blockchain to become a very “robust, secure, nation-state resistant, a censorship-resistant form of global money.”Antonopoulos further added that this subsequently attracted a particular set of individuals to come forward with the same vision, strengthening the existing design trade-offs in that direction.

Talking about the design trade-offs in Ethereum, he said that the ETH blockchain was built with “an unconstrained software engineering mentality.” According to him, the developers were looking to address a “broader set of problems to solve.” The design trade-offs for this attracted a different set of people in comparison to Bitcoin.

The author also said that building a trade-off in Ethereum required its own blockchain for it to be meaningful. He also suggested that issues such as scaling in the ETH blockchain were much harder than that for BTC.

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