Cryptoverse: Ether snaps at bitcoin's heels in race for crypto crown
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - For years, ether could barely dream of challenging its big brother bitcoin. Now, its ambitions may be becoming more realistic.
The second-biggest cryptocurrency is taking market share from bitcoin ahead of an all-important "Merge" software upgrade that could sharply reduce the energy usage of its Ethereum blockchain, should the developers pull it off in coming days.
Bitcoin's dominance, or its share of the crypto market's market value, has slipped to 39.1% from this year's peak of 47.5% in mid-June, according to data platform CoinMarketCap. Ether, on the other hand, has climbed to 20.5% from 16%.
The upstart is still a long way from overtaking bitcoin as the No.1 cryptocurrency, a reversal known to aficionados as "the flippening". It's made up ground, though; in January 2021, bitcoin reigned supreme at 72%, while ether occupied a slender 10%.
As for price, one ether is now worth 0.082 bitcoin , near December 2021 highs and sharply above the 2022 low of 0.049 in June.
"People are now viewing Ethereum as essentially a safe asset because they've seen the success of the network, they think it's not going anywhere," said Joseph Edwards, head of financial strategy at fund management firm Solrise Finance.
"There's a permanency to how Ethereum is perceived in the crypto ecosystem."