You’ve definitely heard about a particular cryptocurrency called NEM that claims to have a faster blockchain, smart contracts and ICOs to kill Ethereum and Vitalik Buterin with it. We have decided to tackle two cryptocurrencies in a fierce battle to determine the winner.
Take a seat back while we compare Ethereum and NEM by such criteria as technology, adoption and prospects.
Round 1 — Technology
When we see the Ethereum and NEM blockchains, the former looks like a clumsy old man in comparison to its young and energetic competitor. Buterin can only envy the fact that the NEM network processes 4 000 transactions per second. NEM also offers a simple smart contract creation and the ability to integrate blockchain technologies in various areas of the business to improve the logistics, document management, user authentication and more. And of course, NEM can be used to hold ICO and launch decentralized applications, otherwise, we wouldn’t even consider this project as a competitor to Ethereum.
How will Buterin and company strike back? Only with planned updates that should upgrade scalability and privacy. We are talking about the switch to the POS mining and sharding. Recently, Buterin was discussing the prospects of using the Zero-Knowledge Proof protocol in the Ethereum network.
In theory, all this will allow Ethereum to catch up and overtake NEM in terms of technological development. But it is still unknown when will this be implemented in practice given the issues faced by developers when testing the Constantinople update. So this round goes to the NEM cryptocurrency.
Round 2 — Adoption
According to the latest data, the total market cap of the top ERC-20 tokens issued on the Ethereum blockchain reaches almost $13B. This list includes the Binance Coin cryptocurrency with a market cap of 1B and 200M dollars (one billion and two hundred million dollars). All this — while the market cap of the entire NEM cryptocurrency slightly falls short of one billion.
The Ethereum network has already hosted thousands of ICOs and launched a large number of decentralized applications. It is worth noting that most of these ICO projects have failed, and the applications are yet to be in demand. But then Ethereum does have well-known, successful and popular projects. And at this point, NEM has absolutely nothing to answer to this. On the Internet, you can find information about several ICOs held on their blockchain but that's probably all there is to it. So the second round definitely goes to Ethereum despite its prehistoric technology.
Round 3 — Prospects
Let's start with Ethereum since it’s at the crossroads of its success and much depends on the high quality and timely updates. Everyone expects that Buterin's creation will be able to catch up with similar projects such as EOS, TRON or even NEM in terms of transaction processing speed and commission fees. But in all fairness, even if everything goes smoothly, it doesn’t guarantee new users for the Ethereum blockchain.
NEM has a slightly different situation: they’ve already had a very fast blockchain and have recently significantly improved the network characteristics with the Catapult update. But the project doesn’t have a powerful marketing promotion, say as TRON does, and without it, there are no partners that would significantly expand the adoption.
It’s also worth noting that the development of both cryptocurrencies is strongly hampered by a prolonged bearish trend in the crypto market. Neither NEM nor Ethereum will be able to reach a new level until new people come into the industry. But Bitcoin trip to the moon is constantly postponed.
Time to sum things up. It is obvious that despite all its shortcomings, Ethereum remains the market leader in ICO and decentralized applications. This can only go downhill if the developers encounter critical errors during the platform update. But it is unlikely that the Buterin team may screw up there.
In defense of NEM, we could say that although this cryptocurrency has very little chance of winning over Ethereum, it is more attractive from an investment point of view. That is because the forecasts about Ethereum taking over Bitcoin clearly did not come true and today, there are still no prerequisites in sight. However, NEM is quite capable of a small miracle in a few tens of per cent growth if the project finds well-known partners in the real business sector.