Bitcoin gets all the glory, but ethereum, the No. 2 cryptocurrency for many years now, is being viewed as superior because of its blockchain platform.
The two cryptocurrencies and their related blockchains are different yet complementary, explains Juan Villaverde of Weiss Ratings, an independent investment-ratings firm based in Florida, in this question-and-answer column.
Villaverde is an econometrician and mathematician who has been tracking and studying cryptocurrencies since 2012. He leads the team of analysts and computer programmers who created the Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings.
Let’s start off simple.
MarketWatch: What is ethereum?
Villaverde: Ethereum is the world’s first — and today one of many — “smart contract platforms.” Unlike bitcoin, it was designed not to be a payment system, but a “decentralized world computer.” The idea was to take the concept of decentralization and apply it not just to money and payments, but also to financial contracts and