Ethereum Surges, Sports Footprint Expands

    • Ethereum has long played second fiddle to bitcoin, but its flexibility as a software could make it the long term cryptocurrency winner.
    • The Ether software is in the midst of an upgrade that will overhaul its fee structure.

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Bitcoin is practically synonymous with “cryptocurrency,” but another digital coin is having a moment and could eventually surpass Bitcoin as the dominant decentralized currency.

Ethereum hit a record high of $2,800 on Thursday. Dallas Mavericks owner and crypto convert Mark Cuban has called Ethereum “the closest we have to a true currency.”

The network that backs it, Ether, is in the midst of a major upgrade that will overhaul its fee structure and could boost its speed.

Dapper Labs initially used Ethereum for NBA Top Shot but switched to its own software, Flow, due to speed and cost issues it had with the cryptocurrency in one of its games.

“Bitcoin, right now, has evolved to be primarily a store value, and it’s very difficult to use it for anything else,” Cuban said on the Unchained podcast. “I think the applications leveraging smart contracts and extensions on Ethereum will dwarf Bitcoin.”

Ethereum is already popular in the sports world.

  • Rob Gronkowski sold a set of NFTs that could only be purchased with Ethereum for $1.75 million. 
  • Soon-to-be top NFL Draft pick Trevor Lawrence received his bonus from sponsor Blockfolio in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana.
  • The fantasy soccer NFT company Sorare uses the Ethereum blockchain.

While still at only a third of Bitcoin’s nearly $1 trillion market cap, Ethereum’s had a huge year: The coin is up 1,182% from where it was one year ago.