The first upgrade to Ethereum 2.0 will happen this month, a step closer to denting the competitive advantage of ‘Ethereum Killers’.

  • The first upgrade to Ethereum 2.0, the Altair hard fork, is scheduled on October 27.
  • It's the first step toward introducing proof-of-stake (PoS) to Ethereum's primary platform.
  • The primary competitive advantage that 'Ethereum Killers' like Solana, Cardano, and Avalanche have over the Ethereum blockchain is Proof of Stake (PoS).
Altair, Ethereum 2.0's first hard fork, is set to go live by the end of the month, just in time for Halloween. It's the first step toward getting developers and coders ready for the 'Merge,' which will see the original Ethereum blockchain's proof-of-work consensus mechanism replaced by Ethereum 2.0's proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.

Ethereum's power consumption is estimated to be reduced by 99.9% as a result of the change. While this is fantastic news for Ethereum and its native token Ether (ETH), which is the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization, it is bad news for Solana, Cardano, Avalanche, and other cryptocurrencies.

These players are known as 'Ethereum Killers,' as they promise to be able to accomplish everything Ethereum can, but better. In the crypto realm, this translates to "less expensive and faster." However, after Ethereum 2.0 is implemented, this may no longer be the case, and their competitive edge may be eroded.

Why are ‘Ethereum Killers' concerned about Ethereum 2.0?

Ethereum was the first cryptocurrency to include smart contracts, which are agreements that are automatically executed when certain terms and circumstances are met.

Ether (ETH), Ethereum's native token, is the world's second most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalization. This means that it is only second to Bitcoin in terms of user adoption (popularity and usage). Overall, it has the advantage of being the first to market.

The top 5 blockchains for smart contracts :

By a wide  margin of over $300 billion, Ethereum leads the pack.

Rank by market capitalisation
Market capitalisation
13$13.86 billion
4$73.35 billion
2$425.51 billion
8$33.5 billion
7$48.02 billion
Ethereum has now achieved two of the three components of the blockchain ‘trilemma' — decentralisation, scalability, and security — but it has yet to achieve scalability. Simply said, if there are too many users on the blockchain, buying and selling goods becomes increasingly expensive.

This was demonstrated at the launch of Time Magazine's non-fungible token (NFT), when some users ended up paying 30 times the NFT's original price.         

Cardano, Solana, Avalanche, and others claim that PoS solves the problem. But, if Ethereum moves to Proof of Stake (PoS) as well — which it is — what will set the other blockchains apart?


They're unlikely to attract as many developers to their individual blockchains if they don't have PoS as a competitive edge over Ethereum - another area where Ethereum is far ahead. Thousands of people are working on Ethereum. Most of the others only have a few hundred.

The target market is the only thing that remains to distinguish them. Ethereum, for example, is mostly focused on the Western world. On the other side, Cardano and Solana are targeting the underdeveloped globe.       

Because they will all be on the same footing by 2022, the question remains whether there is enough ground for everyone to share.                                                

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