Bitcoin has been the reigning money of choice within the cryptoeconomy since the ecosystem’s start, but Ethereum is continuing to climb toward king of the hill — at least if daily transaction fees are any indication.
“As of September 15th, ETH had $182,899 daily transaction fees compared to $185,993 for BTC,” cryptocurrency data firm Coin Metrics noted in its September 17th edition of its State of the Network newsletter.
This is a 7d MA to smooth out the chart but yesterday it was quite close to flipping. pic.twitter.com/4d0vGHHaxM
— Eric Conner (@econoar) September 17, 2019
That puts the Ethereum network once more within striking distance of seeing its daily fee throughput exceed that of the Bitcoin network.
Indeed, the closing-in is not unprecedented as Ethereum has overcome Bitcoin’s daily transaction fees a handful of times of already this year. Yet this latest nearing is notable because it has taken place as Ethereum just experienced a new all-time record for activity on its blockchain on September 16th.
Yesterday, the Ethereum network processed the most activity in its history. pic.twitter.com/gWxkEad6z7
— Eric Conner (@econoar) September 17, 2019
“This means users are doing increasingly complex operations on the network,” DTC Capital founder Spencer Noon said in a related Twitter thread.
The Tether (USDT) Factor
Recently, the Tether project transitioned a considerable portion of their namesake stablecoin’s activity to the Ethereum blockchain.
The ensuing explosion of USDT-linked activities on Ethereum is thus one rising factor contributing to the growing demand for the platform’s block space; as of earlier this month, daily Tether transactions on the network were rapidly nearing the 200,000 mark.
That means USDT is currently involved with around 20 to 25 percent of all activity on the Ethereum blockchain, with the project now paying more than $20,000 per day on average for the privilege to do so.
Yet the vamping up of Tether’s activities is far from the only reason demand for gas — in other words ether (ETH), the so-called “fuel” of the cryptocurrency’s network — has been growing, as some cryptoeconomy stakeholders like Chris Burniske have noted.
The narrative that "it's just Tether" driving #Ethereum adoption is not based in fact.
— Chris Burniske (@cburniske) September 17, 2019
For example, according to the tracker site ETH Gas Station the top 10 gas users in the past 30 days includes the likes of oracle project Chainlink, decentralized exchange IDEX, and crypto lending dapp backers MakerDAO.
As Burniske put it, the uses are “heterogeneous & robust.”
ETH Leads the Latest Cryptoeconomy Rally
Between September 15th and September 16th, the ether price spiked from around $190 to $200. One day later, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap took another acute leg up, having traded as high as $213 during the evening hours of Tuesday.
The sharp uptrends now put the coin up 17 percent on the week, 8 percent on the month, and 7 percent on the year; for now, the project remains a ways off from its 2019 price peak of $334, which was reached back in June.
The latest move up for ETH seemed to invigorate altcoin trading in general, as most of the top 50 cryptocurrencies went into the green after buy pressure around ether seemed to spread to other markets. Notably, bitcoin didn’t enjoy the same temporary boon, as the OG cryptocurrency traded flat around $10,300 over the past two days.
The fresh ether price run comes as optimism is heating up in the project’s community around a spate of recent developments, like payment processor BitPay adding support for Ethereum and Banco Santander — Spain’s largest bank — issuing a bond on the Ethereum mainnet.
A New, More Immediate Scaling Option?
Ethereum 2.0 is set to launch next year, which will make the platform considerably more powerful and efficient.
But there are things that could be done even sooner to help Ethereum scale in the here and now. For example, the bloXroute team announced on September 17th that its BDN tech had been tested on the Ethereum mainnet with rather impressive results, and that more tests were coming.
“We saw propagation speeds increase by over 100% for some nodes using the bloXroute BDN, cutting the time until blocks are received by more than half,” said Eyal Markovich, the company’s chief operating officer.