Five Rivalries in Crypto: Projects

Two humans fencing on blockchain network

Crypto may be an emerging economy, but it already resembles established economies in many ways. One such resemblance is the existence of rivalries within the crypto ecosystem. 

Whether it’s sports, finance, or even showbiz, every industry has a group of players that are rivals. And it’s the same with crypto. Over the years, we’ve had some pretty spicy rivalries in Web3, and we are going to take a look at five of them right now. 

1. Bitcoin (BTC) vs. Ethereum (ETH)

The biggest and possibly the most important rivalry in the crypto space is the one between Bitcoin and Ethereum. They are both the biggest projects in the crypto ecosystem, and they were founded by two of the most important people in crypto; Satoshi Nakamoto and Vitalik Buterin

While there has been no public feud between Bitcoin and Ethereum, many people believe that ETH will eventually surpass Bitcoin. There’s a term for that event, and it’s called the flippening. This is a hypothetical future where Ethereum has a bigger market share than Bitcoin. 

While the flippening is yet to happen, and it looks like Bitcoin is still going strong, many believe it will still happen. There’s even a flippening website that’s doing nothing but counting down to the big day.

2. Ripple (XRP) vs. Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Some rivalries are a race to the top and generally benefit whatever industry they are in. However, others are a race to the bottom, and right now, that’s what this rivalry between Ripple and Stear Lumens looks like. 

What is the real issue between both companies, and why are they rivals? It all started years ago when two men decided to build a blockchain solution to facilitate cross-border payments across institutions. The goal of this chain would be to bring speed and ease to financial transactions. 

These two men were Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb. The company they founded was named Ripple, and its native asset was XRP. However, a few months later, Jed McCaleb left the company to found Stellar Lumens, with XLM as its native asset. 

As one might expect, both companies were initially very similar, even down to their codebase. Unfortunately, both companies have recently struggled to grow as quickly as they might have liked. 

Ripple is currently battling the SEC in court about matters concerning its ICO, and Stellar Lumens has been everything but stellar in the market

3. Decentraland (MANA) vs. Sandbox (SAND)

Rivalries do not have to be based on enmity. The biggest rivals in the crypto ecosystem aren’t projects who are actively at each other’s throats. 

One such rivalry is between Decentraland and Sandbox. If you’ve been around the metaverse, you’d know that these two projects are fundamentally similar. This means that they are inevitably fighting for the same market share. 

Decentraland and Sandbox both allow you to create an avatar and explore virtual worlds called metaverses. Each metaverse comes with spaces called plots of land, and they all run on a native currency. Hence, to build a space in the respective metaverses, you’d need to purchase a plot with the native currency.

Both projects are essentially games that give your avatar an almost limitless experience in a virtual world. The big difference between both projects is that while Sandbox is owned by its founders, Decentraland is owned by the users. Although Sandbox has plans to switch to a DAO ownership model, this has yet to materialize. 

Both projects are neck and neck when it comes to market share domination. That’s probably because they are both very good at providing different experiences. Sandbox, for one, provides a fuller and more robust gaming experience than Decentraland. However, Decentraland currently has the edge when it comes to hosting events and the like. 

No one knows what the future holds for both companies, but their present competition to provide value for the metaverse can only be good news for the Web3 community. 

4. Binance (BNB) vs. OKCoin vs. Huobi (HT)

In 2017, Binance arrived on the scene and essentially ate everyone else’s lunch. Within eight months, Binance went from being a tiny exchange built by one man to a juggernaut in the crypto space. 

However, Binance couldn’t have grown so quickly if it didn’t have some help. The Chinese regulations in 2017 meant that exchanges domiciled in China had to find somewhere else to go, as Chinese regulators were shutting them down. 

At the time, Huobi and OKCoin were the biggest exchanges in China, so they had the most exposure to this market. But Binance only had 18% of its customer base in China, so it had limited exposure to that policy.

A few months later, Binance was the world’s largest exchange by trading volume. It navigated China’s policies with skill and came out on top. 

The fact that Binance became the biggest company in such a relatively short period isn’t the only reason it rivals Huboi and OKCoin. The exchange also has its separate qualms with OKCoin. 

Before CZ founded Binance, he was the CTO of OKCoin and resigned, citing irreconcilable differences. In time, the controversy over CZ’s resignation came to light, and it wasn’t pretty. He alleged that OKCoin was inflating its daily trading volume through bots and that the firm was financially irresponsible. 

One would think these three companies would have put their differences aside, but it seems they are still at it even now. 

In early 2021, a video leaked on the Chinese chat app WeChat. The video showed a single sell order for 21 million BTC on a Binance interface, and it was met with significant vitriol online. Many people thought it was conclusive evidence that Binance was manipulating Bitcoin prices. 

However, the video was bogus because the amount of Bitcoin in the world isn’t up to 21 million. Despite being false, the video went viral in China. It went so vital that a Binance executive had to resort to throwing shade about supposed competitors who made the video. Of course, Binance’s biggest competitors in China are Huobi and OKCoin. 

As expected, both Huobi and OKCoin denied making the video. However, the fact that Binance could even point fingers at them first says everything one needs to know about the relationship between the three companies. 

5. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) vs. Litecoin (LTC)

There are very few cryptocurrencies that are as similar to Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. And their similarities boil down to just one; both are Bitcoin forks

Forks are radical changes to a particular chain’s protocol that essentially create two branches. One chain follows the old protocol, and the other follows a new one. 

The Litecoin fork happened in 2011 and was the first major source code fork for the Bitcoin client. It differed from the rest of the network by decreasing block generation time, increasing the number of coins, offering faster difficulty retargeting, and a different hashing algorithm. 

On the other hand, Bitcoin Cash is a fork that happened in 2017. The main reason for the 2017 fork was an argument in the Bitcoin community over the future of the currency. Some wanted Bitcoin to be primarily a store of value, while others wanted it to be used for cash transactions. 

The faction that wanted the cash transactions functionality of Bitcoin forked into Bitcoin Cash, while the others remained Bitcoin. 

Like most cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin exist in the same market and are trying to capture the same audience. Some also regard them as the successors of Bitcoin. Therefore they are in a de facto race to show which project offers the best path forward for Bitcoin. 

But for some reason, Litecoin has made a big deal out of surpassing Bitcoin Cash in market value— which happened in 2018. 

Litecoin users call this the flappening, which is a playful twist on the flippening (which, as discussed earlier, is a theoretical future where Ethereum overtakes Bitcoin).

On the Flipside

  • Web3 is probably the hardest industry to grow in, hence very few projects will be interested in worrying about their rivals. Rather, they are most likely focused on staying alive and achieving their goals.

Why You Should Care

Rivalries are great for the crypto industry, and these five rivalries may just drive innovation that open up new doors for Web3. That’s why it’s important to care about these contests and how well rivals compete. 

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Victor Fabusola

Victor Fabusola is a Blockchain & Crypto Content Writer. He excels in crafting long-form educational guides, opinion pieces, and reviews in niches such as DeFi, NFTs, and Web 3.0. Outside of his work at DailyCoin, he loves conscious hip-hop and classical music and engaging in intellectually stimulating conversations with his friends.