Ethereum, the No. 2 behind bitcoin, fights off challengers that offer cheaper and faster blockchains – MarketWatch

Ethereum, the No. 2 behind bitcoin, fights off challengers that offer cheaper and faster blockchains – MarketWatch

If you are an investor who dabbles in cryptocurrencies, or even are what we in the industry call “crypto-curious,” you know ethereum ETHUSD, +6.85% as the No. 2 cryptocurrency behind bitcoin BTCUSD, +4.76% — and the blockchain imbued with the ability to write self-executing “smart” contracts right into the code underlying a transaction between parties.

What you might not know about is some of the complexities of how the ethereum blockchain functions, its challenges in terms of security, scalability and energy consumption. Ethereum has a market capitalization over $250 billion and at least five times greater than its competitors. But high fees and network congestion have degraded performance and priced certain activity out of the market, providing an opportunity for a variety of competitor blockchains to emerge. Conceived and funded in 2017, these blockchains are now jockeying to make inroads in the smart contract market  by providing alternative solutions to some of its problems.

These blockchains, with names that certainly would fit into any horse race (such as Cosmos, Solana and Polkadot) each
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