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Ethereum vs Bitcoin: Which One is Better for Shopping, Trading, and Investing?

March 19, 2019


Ethereum vs Bitcoin: Which One is Better for Shopping, Trading, and Investing?

Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two biggest coins in the crypto space. They are the top 2 coins in terms of market capitalization, popularity, and institutional interest. However, the two projects are different in many ways.

Bitcoin is simply a cryptocurrency. Its main intended use is to process transactions among individuals and organizations.

Ethereum, on the other hand, is a complex, multi-part platform. While it does have a native cryptocurrency, its smart contract functionality supports a variety of functions, such as running decentralized applications.

For the purpose of this article, though, we’re only interested in one thing. Which coin is better for shopping, investing, and trading? Here we look at the answers for each of the above use cases.

Shopping – ETH wins!

Bitcoin and Ethereum are similar in a few ways.

Both hold value relatively well, albeit with some price fluctuations. Both are accepted by hundreds of vendors internationally. Both are easier to buy, store, and use than most altcoins.

This is where the similarities end. For starters, a Bitcoin transaction can easily take over an hour to process. Ethereum transactions take, on average, 5-10 minutes – and can be virtually instant if you choose to spend more gas per transaction, which is easy to do.

Another major difference is the transaction fees. Although neither cryptocurrency is expensive to shop with, Bitcoin is about 3x pricier (according to, meaning that with all other things being equal, Ethereum is a better option for shopping.

Investing – TIES!

When it comes to investing, things are a lot trickier. On one hand, Ethereum’s ‘17-’18 bull run was one of the biggest ever in crypto. The coin went from roughly $10 to well over $800 in the space of a year. Since then, however, Ethereum has lost a fair amount of value.

Bitcoin’s story is different. Its ascent was a lot slower, but during 2018’s bear year, it held on to about 2x more of its value.

Now, does this necessarily mean that Bitcoin is better for investing? Not at all. For example, Ethereum’s being actively updated and expanded to include new features and capabilities. As a result, its market value has the potential to skyrocket at any point (read more here).

If we were to simplify things, here’s what we’d say. Bitcoin may be a more stable long-term investment. However, if you were looking to make money in the medium or short-term, Ethereum might be just as good if not better than Bitcoin.

Trading – TIE! 

Trading Bitcoin and Ethereum aren’t very different at all. What matters with both coins is buying the coin at a lower price and selling it at a higher one. The process of trading doesn’t change at all.

One thing that does vary from coin to coin is market sentiment, fundamental factors, etc. However, this is true for any and all tradeable assets. There really is no difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum here, making this round a tie.

All in all, there’s no clear victor here. Ethereum is better for shopping – but Bitcoin has a slight edge as an investment tool. Both are equal as far as trading goes.

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