With momentum on its side and no signs of stopping in sight, this week Bitcoin broke its all-time high of $54,000 and is now sitting at a $1-Trillion market cap. Ethereum crept up to hit nearly $2,000, a critical and crucial level for the leading smart contract platform.

In the past year, the cryptocurrency market has evolved from speculative hopefulness for future technology to a full-blown and self-realized decentralized financial ecosystem, with millions of users interacting and transacting with digital assets each day.

As this evolution has taken place, a narrative that propelled the crypto market forward in 2017 has resurfaced. Which smart contract platform will be more high-performant and generate significant network adoption to cut into Ethereum’s market share (AKA “Ethereum-killers”)?

Ethereum’s Dominance & Growing Pains

Ethereum finds itself at an interesting crossroads. As its price continues to rise, so do the gas fees, which are used to pay for transactions on the network. Ethereum’s 2.0 upgrade will help migrate the chain from a Proof-of-Work to a Proof-of-Stake architecture and in the process, help scale the network and lower fees. Currently, there are over 3 Million ETH staked on ETH 2.0, valued at $5.4-Billion (Dune Analytics). Ethereum will continue to roll-out 2.0, which investors expect to revolutionize the DeFi industry.

DeFi’s adoption and future lives in fast, efficient and low-cost transactions. Deposits on the Top 3 DeFi Lending platforms currently exceed an outstanding $20-Billion, and DeFi is just getting started!

Battle of the Blockchains

In 2021, we’ve seen the fast rise of Polkadot (DOT) as developers flock by the thousands to build their projects on the Polkadot network. Some of which are launching Initial Dot Offerings (IDOs), creating an eerily similar investor frenzie to Ethereum’s ICOs back in 2017. Polkadot has continued to rise in value, as more DOT DeFi projects enter the market-place and its ecosystem matures.

A perfect example of the evolution from speculative hopefulness to realized technology is Cardano (ADA). Cardano has recently deployed an ERC-converter, which will easily allow any Ethereum ERC20 token to rapidly migrate to Cardano’s scalable and decentralized blockchain infrastructure. This ease of migration is definitely an eyebrow-raiser for any self-proclaimed Ethereum maximalists.

The last bull-run continues to re-surface, as the NEO platform is on the verge of launching its NEO 3.0, complete with a digital identity and blockchain file-storing solution. VeChain, Tezos and others have re-gained significant market share, with exciting developments.

Newer blockchains such as Algorand, promise true advanced encryption security in combination with Proof-of-Stake high-performance transactions, making blockchain accessible to both financial institutions, corporations and even governments. Elrond delivers one of the fastest and most high-performance blockchains in existence, powered by sharding – a technology where transactions are sliced into smaller hashes for faster processing.

Network Effect

Ultimately, what makes a smart contract’s digital asset rise in value is its network effect, commonly referred to as Metcalfe’s Law. Under this law, the more users and more adoption a network has, the greater the assets brought into the blockchain, and the more it rises in value and becomes increasingly scarce. As assets are locked up for staking and DeFi lending services, the circulating supply is also reduced, driving enhanced scarcity.

Network effects alone have resulted in record-low amounts of Ethereum being available on exchanges and has been a contributor to driving up its price. It’s clear, there is plenty of market-share to go around, and Ethereum continues to be the dominant smart-contract force in the global crypto market.

Take Your Pick

So, what smart contract platforms are you most excited about? Which do you find yourself using for investing on a regular basis?

As real-world assets become tokenized and migrate to the blockchain, which do you think will be the big winners of ushering in this digital revolution?

Let us know by posting your thoughts on Twitter and make sure to tag us – @investvoyager.

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The Golden Record Episode 4 – Video Recap

Hosts Charlie Shrem and Voyager CEO Steve Ehrlich answered all your pressing questions about Voyager, the new loyalty program, and so much more on our fourth official broadcast of The Golden Record yesterday.

Click the link below to watch the full broadcast and catch up on what you missed!

The Golden Record Episode 4 Broadcast

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