Bitcoin will soon lose its place as the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency, according to one of the earliest advocates of the digital currency.
Roger Ver, whose involvement in the space since 2011 has earned him the moniker ‘Bitcoin Jesus’, believes technologically superior cryptocurrencies like ethereum and bitcoin cash will see massive gains in the coming months and years.
A significant surge in their value will likely correlate with more modest gains for bitcoin, according to Mr Ver, leading to what analysts have termed “The Flippening” – the point in time when bitcoin no longer the cryptocurrency with the highest market capitalization.
“I see it happening, and I believe it’s imminent,” Mr Ver told The Independent. “Ethereum could overtake bitcoin by the end of the year and bitcoin cash could do the same before 2020.”
Mr Ver cited issues with bitcoin’s core technology, which has seen it beleaguered with slow transaction times and high fees as its popularity has increased. More than 1,500 other cryptocurrencies have come into existence since bitcoin’s inception in 2009, each one trying to overcome one or more of bitcoin’s flaws.
Increasing interest in bitcoin over the last year has been reflected across the cryptocurrency markets, with ethereum and bitcoin cash making significant gains on bitcoin.
In the past 12 months, the price of one bitcoin has risen from around $1,700 to $9,360 – an increase of 450 per cent. In the same timeframe, ethereum has seen gains of almost 1,000 per cent to reach its current value of $764, while bitcoin cash has surged from around $500 in August last year to today’s price of $1,655.
The price of ethereum may still be a long way off bitcoin, however there are five-times more in circulation – meaning ethereum’s market cap is just under half that of bitcoin’s.
Gadgets and tech news in pictures
Other cryptocurrency experts contend that bitcoin is too well established to lose its position as the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency.
Michael Jackson, the former COO of Skype who now works for the investment firm Mangrove Capital Partners, believed the issues that blight bitcoin can be overcome, therefore negating the benefits of alternative cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash.
“There is so much talent in the crypto space, and people are working on solving these scalability problems,” Mr Jackson said.
“I don’t see why bitcoin shouldn’t remain in the number one spot. It is still by far the best known and it is ultimately the reserve currency in the space.”
Bitcoin could remain the world’s dominant cryptocurrency, Mr Ver conceded, but he does not believe such a scenario is likely. While its perceived limitations may see its price stagnate, the utility of bitcoin cash could see its price reach “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in the future.
“It’s not guaranteed but it is much more likely to happen than not,” Mr Ver said. “Bitcoin cash has more than doubled in value in the last month and big investors coming in soon could see it double again by next week. People love to chase a rising star.”
The Independent’s bitcoin group on Facebook is the best place to follow the latest discussions and developments in cryptocurrency. Join here for the latest on how people are making money – and how they’re losing it.