In a recent commentary shared on X, Matt Hougan, Chief Investment Officer at Bitwise Asset Management, which ranks as the world’s largest provider of cryptocurrency index funds, detailed why investors should consider diversifying their cryptocurrency portfolio by adding Ethereum (ETH), alongside maintaining a position in Bitcoin (BTC). Hougan offered three compelling reasons for investors to embrace ETH, while also presenting a critical viewpoint for remaining invested solely in BTC.

Ethereum Vs. Bitcoin: 3 Reasons Pro-Ethereum

Hougan began by emphasizing the importance of diversification within crypto investments. Drawing an analogy to the early days of the internet, he pointed out how difficult it is to predict which technologies or companies will dominate over the long term. “It is very hard to predict the future with precision,” Hougan remarked, referring to investors who bet on early internet companies like AOL and Pets.com, which failed to maintain their initial promise despite the internet’s overall growth.

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Applying this lesson to crypto, Hougan advised a diversified approach to hedge against similar uncertainties. Ethereum’s current market capitalization stands at approximately $420 billion, which is substantial but still only about one-third that of Bitcoin’s $1.3 trillion market cap. Given these figures, Hougan proposed a default starting allocation of 75% Bitcoin and 25% Ethereum for investors seeking broad market exposure.

Hougan’s second point delved into the functional differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum. He described Bitcoin as primarily “a new form of money,” highlighting its design choices aimed at enhancing its utility as a robust monetary system. “Every design choice the Bitcoin ecosystem makes is designed to make Bitcoin the best form of money that has ever existed,” he stated, underscoring Bitcoin’s targeted development toward optimizing its use as a currency.

Conversely, Ethereum is characterized by its role as a foundational technology for building new applications that leverage its capability for programmable money. This includes everything from issuing stablecoins to enabling complex decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems.

“Ethereum’s primary function is making money programmable,” Hougan explained. He argued that the ongoing development within the Ethereum ecosystem provides a broader exposure to the potential applications of blockchain technology, which is still in its nascent stages.

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The third argument for Ethereum centered on historical performance data. Hougan pointed out that historically, portfolios that included Ethereum along with Bitcoin showed better performance metrics, both in absolute terms and when adjusted for risk, across full crypto market cycles.

“My favorite thing about that table is that the +ETH portfolio has both higher returns and a lower maximum drawdown,” he highlighted. This historical analysis suggests that Ethereum could offer better downside protection and higher potential returns, though Hougan cautioned that “past performance is no guarantee of future returns” and noted that in shorter, recent periods, a Bitcoin-only strategy would have outperformed.

Counterpoint: Why a Bitcoin-Only Strategy May Be Preferable

Addressing the other side of the coin, Hougan discussed why many investors might prefer a Bitcoin-only strategy. This perspective is especially relevant for those concerned with macroeconomic issues like the degradation of fiat currencies and inflation.

Hougan posited that Bitcoin’s dominant position and its community’s focus on becoming a new form of money make it likely to continue leading this space. “It has a large lead, and size matters in money,” he stated, supporting the idea that Bitcoin’s simplicity and focused use-case as digital gold could be more appealing for certain strategic investments.

“Money is a massive market. There’s plenty of space for BTC to run if it succeeds. […] My view, in a word: If you want to make a broad bet on crypto and public blockchains, you should own multiple crypto assets. If you want to make a specific bet on a new form of digital money, buy Bitcoin,” Hougan concluded.

At press time, ETH traded at $3,514.06.

Ether price, 1-week chart | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

Featured image created with DALL·E, chart from TradingView.com



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