I used to love Ethereum, even a few years ago when I tried to do some dapps with it. People say that investors etc like Bitcoin because they realise it’s a store of value, and that computer nerds like Ethereum because it’s smart money. I too like it, I still do. But I kinda hate it as well.
I’m not sure what year it was when I tried to make some dapps, a token of my own. I think it was during the ICO bubble, there was so much buzz, and it kinda sparked my interest and I wanted to play with it. So I checked out some guides, wrote some basic code and spent my Ethereum to run it. I remember it was something like 3-5 USD gas fees at the time, and since I only wanted to experiment with it, they felt like a lot. If only I knew…
Fast-forward to today, I wanted to play around with NFTs. I make digital art, and when I scroll through the NFTs that are selling I see this utter garbage, so I said, I’ll put up my artwork as well. It’s all up in a gallery on OpenSea, Mythography Studios Crypto.
And so I needed to mint my artwork. I was put away by the gas fees. At the same time, I wanted to play around with DeFi and stuff like that, but that needed exorbitant fees as well. So I just kept researching stuff, gathering all these little experiments I wanted to run as I waited for gas fees to get lower. I asked the Aave discord server support, they said I should wait or eat the gas fees. I tried minting with Rarible, but they had a different wallet, so I paid fees to load it up, and then the minting process didn’t go through and kept eating up Ethereum. I sent the Ether back into my Metamask, and it took another big chunk for transaction fees. I finally caved and paid the minting fee and put up some NFTs so I could check them out. I put up my ebooks for something like 6 USD only to see that people would have to pay enormous gas fees to get them, making it not viable. Then an artist friend of mine put up an NFT for auction and I bought it to support him. The NFT was about 30 USD and I paid 30 USD in gas fees on top.
In short, my experience was crap. Complete and utter crap. I had abandoned crypto back in 2017 I think because it was so clunky, and when I tried it again a couple of months ago, it was way more exciting and mainstream, but it was still clunky. And expensive on top.
I honestly think cryptocurrencies are utter shit. I’m a computer engineer, I’ve been playing with computers since I was a kid, I use them every day, and still, my user experience was horrible.
I can’t even imagine how they seem to an average user. That’s why I started my education service for people wanting to invest in crypto, so I could take them step by step and show them how to invest for themselves.
To conclude, Ethereum is exciting, but it’s completely unusable at this point. So many dapps have scurried off to make some alternative so the users don’t have to pay gas fees, OpenSea has a beta running on Matic, Gods Unchained is trying out Immutable, and generally we see a race for the next Ethereum that doesn’t suck.
And I get why. These dapps have large userbases, and they rely on Ethereum. Ethereum network has failed them, it doesn’t scale, it was a victim of its own success with DeFi eating up all the hashrate, and they need to run their business. I’m not sure where the Ethereum developers get their money from, it’s either investors or something else, but real businesses cannot rely on Ethereum.
Ethereum is and always will be an experimental, volatile shitcoin. Ethereum 2.0 might fix some of the issues but that’s too far away, maybe a year or even two in the future. That’s like 10 years in the crypto world. People will move on, businesses are forking away into their own alternatives and instead of having one neat little network we can all develop dapps on, people are breaking away and making their own just to keep their businesses afloat.
So, what do I think about Ethereum?
I still kinda like it. It’s like a high-maintenance girlfriend where you hate her guts and she costs too much but the sex is amazing. I have some money invested in Ethereum 2.0 staked in Binance, so deep down I still believe that something might come out of this mess. I don’t invest in Cardano, although my brother keeps telling me about it, because I know that in the technology domain it doesn’t matter if you have something that’s better, the network effect always wins. Sony learned that the hard way. In every iteration of storage media they had the superior technology, but people adopted the other medium, VHS, etc. It’s not about what’s better, it’s about what’s easier to access, easier to use, and how many people use it already. So Cardano gets a no from me. Both Ethereum and Cardano suck as dapp infrastructures equally, but Ethereum is larger so I have some money invested in it. But not a lot.
As for dapps, the RSK network can literally run any Ethereum application on its virtual machine and still rely on Bitcoin. I honestly don’t see any use for Cardano, and if the Ethereum team doesn’t get their shit together, they might not survive the mass migration and become a victim of their own success.
In short, no, the Berlin upgrade fixes nothing, the Ethereum 2.0 might, but it’s still too far away and it might even be too late.