Ethereum’s Adoption Rate After 5 Years Far Exceeds Bitcoin’s


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One key metric suggests that Ethereum (ETH) has enjoyed a much faster rate of adoption and growth in the first five years of existence than Bitcoin (BTC).

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Comparing the total number of addresses after n days for both Bitcoin and Ethereum. Source: Cointelegraph, Glassnode, Etherscan.

We compared the total number of addresses created in the first five years on both major blockchain networks. While the number of addresses could be a good gauge of the rate adoption, it may not be perfect for various reasons. One reason is that the accounting systems in the two networks are different.

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Total number of addresses in the first five years of existence Ethereum versus Bitcoin. Source: Cointelegraph, Glassnode, Etherscan.

In the first 600 days, the growth rate for both networks is quite similar. By mid-2017, however, Ethereum’s curve became much steeper. The most obvious explanation is the ICO boom. The creation of thousands of ERC20 tokens and their subsequent distribution and trading led to a much greater rate of Ethereum address creation.

Another advantage that Ethereum had from the beginning is that it was standing on the shoulders of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; whereas Bitcoin was the world’s first decentralized electronic currency. Bitcoin’s adoption was slow and gradual. The slope of its curve never had an uplift similar to the ICO boom.

In another five years, a similar comparison will hopefully still remain relevant.