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Ethereum v. Bitcoin – Another side to this debate

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German economist Karl Otto Pöhl once said, “Inflation is like toothpaste. Once it’s out, you can hardly get it back in again.” In the backdrop of the latest inflation data released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the aforementioned claim resonates now more than ever.  

Inflation in the U.S. continued its uphill ride on fourth gear after its Consumer Price Index (CPI) witnessed a 5.4% uptick over the past 12 months. The same rose at its fastest pace since August 2008. What’s more, core inflation rose to 4.5% in June – a level that was previously touched way back in 1991. As expected, a host of economists, including Andrew Hunter, have claimed that the inflation scare is “far from over.”

Notably, the value of every existing dollar is depreciating at an alarming rate and common investors are now eagerly looking for hedges to shield themselves from the incessant rise in price. 

The not-so-pleasing data managed to leave a scar on almost all asset classes, including cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and Ethereum – two of the market’s largest crypto assets – have time and again made their way into the inflationary hedge debates.

Can crypto assets safeguard your purchasing power? 

Stablecoins have always been a safe haven for investors to divert their funds during such situations. In fact, TradingView’s data pointed out that the trading volumes of dollar-pegged stablecoins like USDT, USDC, and BUSD recorded a surge of up to 20% over the last few hours. Now, this seems to suggest that investors have parked their funds in stablecoins to negate the volatility for the time being.

However, after the hyped-up situation eases, they would eventually be diverted back to other mainstream cryptos, and keeping the scarcity factor in mind, BTC and ETH might be arguably the best bets against inflation.

Is ETH ahead in this race?

Well, undeniably, the U.S. fiasco has presented Ethereum a golden opportunity on its platter. The altcoin is arguably in a better position when compared to the king coin. Here’s how –

Source: Santiment

As can be observed from the attached chart, Bitcoin’s supply on exchanges saw a spike over the past 24 hours, while the same for Ethereum registered a dip. This makes it evident that Bitcoin’s short-term selling pressure has increased the latest. As far as Ethereum is concerned, the dip implies that the alt has been moving into private wallets. In other words, investors have been choosing ETH over BTC of late.

Additionally, Ethereum’s accumulation has been gaining a lot of pace too. For starters, the number of unique addresses has only been steadily increasing. In fact, at the time of writing, the same was at its peak of 163 million. The same for Bitcoin, on the other hand, has been pretty sluggish. 

Post Ethereum’s London hard fork, the inflationary hedge narrative is set to incline more towards Ethereum than Bitcoin. In fact, people from the community like Michael Arrington and Dan Morehead have already claimed that ETH would outperform BTC and prove to be a better inflationary hedge with time. 

Time. Perhaps time will be in the best position to give us this answer.

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With a keen eye on the Indian economic ecosystem, Lavina Daryanani's writing predominantly revolves around crypto-happenings in the Asian markets. She has a strong background in journalism and a personal inclination towards business and financial reporting.