bitcoin and ether
Spendher Invest currently offers Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) on the Spendher Invest platform, with other currencies available via our personalised brokerage. There are thousands of cryptos! Spendher research identifies BTC and ETH as the highest long term potential cryptocurrencies currently on the market based on the time in market, rate and volume of adoption, market capitalisation, financial performance over time, development teams and importantly that both of these are underlying blockchain protocols.
What does underlying blockchain protocol mean? As an analogy, it is like investing in "the internet" as opposed to a business or startup built on top of it.
Bitcoin and Ether have different purposes, they don't compete with each other. So they provide a neat way to diversify.
Bitcoin is a money system, bitcoin (small 'b') is the currency transferred across the Bitcoin blockchain. Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin (and blockchain technology, wow) defines Bitcoin in the white paper as a peer to peer electronic cash system. A note about blockchains: There are lots of blockchains, Bitcoin is one of many. Bitcoin is transferred over the Bitcoin blockchain, ether is transferred over the Ethereum blockchain, and there are many other examples.
What makes Bitcoin special, and different to our current money system, is that there is a limited supply (21 million, nearly 17 million have been mined already but they get harder to mine over time), and there is no intermediary or government controlling it. It is owned and controlled by those who participate in it.
Because of its limited supply, and the energy used in the mining process, bitcoin is considered the digital gold. Bitcoin may be perceived as a better store of value than gold because it is more easily transferrable, durable and divisible.
Ethereum aims to be the "world's computer" that is decentralised. What does that mean? So right now the internet relies on a few companies that store all our data in centralised places (think Facebook, Google etc). We have no ownership really of our data, or protection over whether these third parties get hacked and our information is shared or manipulated.
"Distributed apps" created on the Ethereum network, say an equivalent of Google sheets for example, would be owned and controlled by the user, and not by the central party (Google).
Ethereum is also enabling smart contracts. Smart contracts help you exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of a middleman.
From an investment perspective, you can think of Bitcoin as gold, and Ether as oil/gas. Ethereum transaction fees are calculated based on how much 'gas' the action requires.