Alex Sunnarborg is a founding member of Tetras Capital Partners, LLC, an investment manager focused on investing in crypto assets.
Eighteen months ago, CoinDesk sent a survey to its readers asking for their opinions on the current state of the crypto ecosystem. The results were analyzed and published in the State of Blockchain Q1 2017. In this piece, the original author reflects on some of the core findings.
The most striking survey response was also the most straightforward to understand: sentiment around the ‘overall state’ of bitcoin and ethereum.
Less than 5 percent of those surveyed in Q1 2017 felt even slightly negative about the overall state of ethereum. The sentiment and optimism could have hardly been any higher.
Network Data: Then and Now
At the time, the number of transactions on the ethereum network was rising.
Transactions on the bitcoin network were rising as well, but the magnitude of growth was less dramatic, and bitcoin blocks had started to average over 90 percent capacity.
Demand for bitcoin block space lead transaction fees to average north of $1 for the first time ever while ethereum’s fees averaged less than $0.05.
It was clear that transaction fees were a large component of the negativity that survey participants felt when asked about bitcoin.
In the 18 months since, we’ve seen the rollout and initial usage of both SegWit and Lightning Network to help address bitcoin scaling, but the block limit kept the on-chain transaction count bounded under about 400,000 per day. Without the same limitations, we saw ethereum’s transactional count exceed 1m per day in late 2017.