What are the Differences Between Bitcoin and Ethereum?

By July 10, 2020March 28th, 20224 minute read
Bitcoin vs Ethereum

Bitcoin and Ethereum are the top two projects that are extremely important and valuable in the cryptocurrency space. Both serve unique purposes and have a significant fan following amongst investors, traders, hobbyists, and blockchain developers.

Apart from the aforementioned folks, both digital currency systems boast of increasingly high corporate and institutional demand. Financial and technology organizations and firms from miscellaneous other verticals have shown interest in adopting Bitcoin and Ethereum.

But despite their surging popularity, there are notable differences. Discussing these differences can help us appreciate the two blockchain-based protocols. Speaking of protocols, let’s start by differentiating them, and then we can move on to the individual cryptocurrency differences.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum: Protocol Differences

Bitcoin emerged as a by-product of the 2008 Great Recession. Anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto presented the white paper in 2009, in which he introduced Bitcoin as a ‘Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’. This system consists of the Bitcoin blockchain and the cryptocurrency bitcoin (BTC).

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Vitalik Buterin presented the Ethereum white paper in 2013. With the launch in 2015, the project was introduced as the world’s first programmable blockchain with ether (ETH) as the currency of exchange.

Both blockchains have a distributed public ledger design and employ proof of work (PoW) mining to verify and process cryptocurrency transactions. Miners solve complex mathematical algorithms with industry-grade computing hardware to validate settlements and add them to the respective blockchains post-confirmation. To know more about PoW check out the video below:

Proof-of-Work in Blockchain

Ethereum: The Smart Contract and dApp Building Platform

But Ethereum has a leg up on Bitcoin when it comes to usability. That advantage comes from its ability to support the development of smart contracts and decentralized applications (Apps).

This actually catalyzed the ICO boom of 2017 where numerous blockchain-based applications sprung up showcasing the immense technological prowess of Ethereum as a dApp building platform, with Solidity its smart contract programming language becoming the industry standard.

ICO Boom of 2017, Source – Coinschedule, Bloomberg

Did you lose yourself at smart contracts? A detailed article from our end on the same is in works. Until then see the video below to understand them visually:

What are smart contracts?

Anyone can code applications involving some digital value, that executes as programmed and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. That’s Ethereum’s USP for users.

Apart from financial transactions, the network’s native cryptocurrency token ETH monetizes the operation of these applications. Ethereum developers intend the platform to become the decentralized version of the internet.

Bitcoin is primarily functioning as a peer-to-peer financial settlement system with bitcoin largely gaining prominence as a value preserving investment asset, similar to gold. Media portals and financial commentators haven’t shied away from calling BTC as ‘Gold 2.0’ or ‘digital gold’.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum: Other Differences

Cryptocurrency Supply and Circulation

Bitcoin’s code by default has a production cap on the number of bitcoins that will be ever produced and that’s 21 million. Currently, there are 18.4 million BTC in circulation which means that these many coins have already been mined.

Contrary to BTC there doesn’t seem to be a limit in ETH supply, and the total number of ethers in circulation crossed the 100 million mark two years back. Now that figure stands at 111 million.

Block Size and Transaction Stats

Over the years, the average Bitcoin block size has considerably increased and is now trending at 1.2 MB/block. Bitcoin’s block size has been in discussion quite a lot. This has resulted in the formation of different cryptocurrency systems altogether.

These systems split from the main Bitcoin blockchain through a process called forking, and are called ‘hard forks’. Some of the well-known forks of Bitcoin are Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, etc. Get more clarity about Bitcoin hard forks from the video below:

Bitcoin hard fork explained

The average size for Ethereum blocks has also been variable since its inception, mostly trending in the 20 KB to 30 KB range. Ethereum also had its share of forks. Contrary to Bitcoin’s forks, almost all forking events were upgrades. Ethereum forking events are calculated steps taken for the blockchain to transition from the PoW mining system to PoS (proof-of-stake). More on proof-of-stake below:


Gas and Transaction Fees

Successful completion of financial transactions or transactions involving smart contracts on Ethereum has to be paid for with ‘gas’. Measured in Gwei, a subunit of ether, the value of gas to be charged to process a transaction is determined by Ethereum miners. They can choose to forego a transaction if the gas prices are not satisfactory.

The scenario is a bit different in Bitcoin. Miners charge transaction fees to process transfers but there’s a preference-based model involved. A higher fee needs paying for transactions that are urgent and require faster processing. Depending on the fees, transactions get cleared in either a single block or multiple blocks.

Bitcoin can process around 5-7 transactions per second whereas Ethereum can deal with 12-15 transactions per second.

The Ethereum blockchain has gone from processing around 500,000 to 1 million transactions per day this year. Normally, Bitcoin manages between 300,000 to 700,000 transactions per day though mostly it stays at around 300,000. Average Ethereum block confirmation time is around 15 seconds whereas for Bitcoin it can range from several minutes to a few hours.

Even with all their differences Bitcoin and Ethereum will remain attractive cryptocurrency projects in both financial as well as development terms. If you are looking to buy bitcoin, Ethereum, or both, you can do so through WazirX. Visit this link to know more: https://wazirx.com/

Also you can download the app and Start Trading Now!

Android App – WazirX – Buy Sell Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Exchange

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How Safe Are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies can be safe, but your crypto wallets can be hacked if proper security steps are not performed.There are also dangers and uncertainties associated with investments, and we cannot declare any virtual currency investment risk-free. Buying and selling cryptocurrencies does not have to be dangerous if the trader is well-versed in the market and treats his coins with care.

Can I Invest In Cryptocurrency?

Yes, with exchanges like WazirX, you may invest in cryptocurrency in India. To begin, go to the WazirX website and register. After that, you will receive a verification email. The link received by verification mail will only be available for a few seconds, so make sure you click it as quickly as possible. This will successfully verify your email address. The following step is to set up security, so choose the best solution for you. After you've set up the security, you'll be given the option of continuing with or without completing the KYC process.

What Are The Best Cryptocurrencies To Invest In?

The best cryptocurrencies to invest in would be the ones you study and analyze in detail. Some of the most popular cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many altcoins such as Tron, Ripple, Litecoin, etc.

How To Create Bitcoin Account?

Firstly, Go to the WazirX website and sign up. Then, a verification mail will be sent to you. The link sent via verification mail would be available only for a few seconds so make sure you click on the link sent to you as soon as possible, and it will verify your email address successfully. The next step is to set up security, so select the most suitable option for you. After you have set up the security, you will get a choice to either proceed further with or without completing the KYC procedure. After that, you will be directed to the Funds and Transfer page, where you could start depositing Bitcoins to your wallet. You can also deposit INR and then use it to buy Bitcoin for your WazirX Bitcoin wallet.

How To Convert Bitcoin To Cash?

There are many ways of converting Bitcoin to cash, such as crypto exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs, Bitcoin Debit Cards, Peer to Peer Transactions. You can use cryptocurrency exchanges such as WazirX for this. Unlike typical ATMs, which allow you to withdraw money from your bank account, a Bitcoin ATM is a physical location where you may buy and sell Bitcoins using fiat currency. Several websites provide the option of selling Bitcoin in return for a prepaid debit card that may be used just like a standard debit card. You can sell Bitcoin for cash through a peer-to-peer platform in a faster and more anonymous manner.

Is Cryptocurrency Legal In India?

In India, cryptocurrencies are legal; anyone can purchase, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. They are currently unregulated; India does not have a regulatory framework in place to regulate its functioning. According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), companies must now declare their crypto trading/investments during the financial year, according to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). Cryptocurrency transactions have been taxable in India when people receiving such gains are Indian tax residents or where the crypto is considered to be domiciled in India

Can Bitcoin Be Converted To Real Money?

Crypto exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs, Bitcoin Debit Cards, and Peer Peer Transactions are all options for converting Bitcoin to cash. This can be accomplished by using Bitcoin exchanges such as WazirX. A Bitcoin ATM is a real place where you may purchase and sell Bitcoins with cash, unlike standard ATMs that allow you to withdraw money from your bank account. Many websites provide the option of purchasing Bitcoin in return for a prepaid debit card that works similarly to a standard debit card. Through a peer-to-peer marketplace, you may sell Bitcoin for cash faster and more privately.

What Is The Safest Cryptocurrency To Invest In?

Bitcoin has had the highest market capitalization, has been around the longest, has the most experienced development team, and has enormous network impact and brand recognition. As a result, while trading cryptocurrencies, the rate of return on Bitcoin is commonly used as a benchmark. However, the risks associated with cryptocurrencies remain, and the safest cryptocurrency for you depends on your analysis.

What Is Crypto?

Crypto or a cryptocurrency is a digital currency protected by cryptography, making counterfeiting and double-spending nearly impossible. Blockchain technology is used to produce cryptocurrencies (a distributed ledger enforced by a distributed network of computers). Cryptocurrencies are distinct in that a government does not issue them. The word "cryptocurrency" refers to the encryption methods employed to keep digital currencies and the network secure.

Is Ethereum Safe To Invest?

The Bitcoin market is unquestionably more volatile than the stock market. This may not be the market for you if you are incredibly risk-averse. Ethereum, on the other hand, may be a terrific investment for you if you're a diamond-handed investor who won't lose sight of short-term losses. Ethereum is a relatively safe investment as it is also based on blockchain.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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