• Ethereum has outpaced Bitcoin not just in price but also in transactions
  • ETH is up close to 44 percent YTD
  • The increasing interest in DeFi may have something to do with investor bullishness on the second-most popular crypto

The better performing digital asset between the top two cryptocurrencies by market cap is Ethereum (ETH) so far. And it's not just in price that the top altcoin has outperformed Bitcoin (BTC) but in other key metrics as well.

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum rounded out the first month of 2020 with solid gains. BTC stamped a 30 percent price acceleration, but it is ETH that recorded a higher number at almost 40 percent. The first four days of February have also been more favorable to the second-most popular crypto as it's already up by 4 percent, whereas Bitcoin is down 0.75 percent.

Another metric that ETH has overtaken BTC is transactions. CryptoSlate reported that data from IntoTheBlock shows how the ETH network transactions increased more than 122 percent since the start of the year. At this rate, it surpassed Bitcoin, which had only a 73 percent growth in transaction size. And despite still being lower than Bitcoin by several billion, the aggregated volume of ETH futures was considerably higher in January, according to Skew data.

In addition, with the fundamentals of BTC about to change in May this year thanks to the halving, in which the daily supply will be cut short from 1,800 to 900 BTC, investors deem this to be positive for the crypto's price. Aside from that, many also expect the positivity around this specific Bitcoin event to trickle down to altcoins, particularly ETH.

Another factor that could play a part in ETH's better performance than its most popular counterpart is the growing investors' attention towards Ethereum's decentralized finance (DeFi). This platform allows p2p transactions for issuing, trading and holding financial assets on the Ethereum blockchain. Most of the projects that utilize or DeFi or DeApps consume Ethereum's economic bandwidth.

For instance, Ryan Sean Adams' case for trillion-dollar Ethereum market cap noted that ETH would have to be priced at $2,500 to $10,000 for MakerDAO's stable coin DAI to replace 51 percent of Argentina's money supply and that boosts the market cap of Ethereum.

This is also the reason why Richard Burton, the designer of DeFi protocols, thinks that the best investments are built on Ethereum.

Experts predict Ethereum's price by mid-2018. David McBee/Pexels
Getting in with NULS at these levels is the same as getting in Ethereum, Ripple, NEO a year ago when they were dirt cheap, says columnist George Tung. Pixabay