During 2016 and 2017 there was an explosion of new tokens. The rush to build such tokens alongside smart contracts caused a demand for the Ethereum blockchain, which in turn started the rise of gas prices.
As these prices became increasingly expensive, it was clear Ethereum wasn’t ready for mainstream usage, and something much faster would need to be developed before real-world adoption could take place.
This caused a boom in blockchain development and the race to replace Ethereum. Then came a large number of new blockchains and the ‘Ethereum Killer’ tag was on almost every website.
The hype from enthusiasts bounced from one blockchain to another as they searched for the next chain that would take over all the new tokens. Ethereum already had plans to scale but could not decide on the methodology it would use to grow.
The many different scaling ideas and solutions gave rise to the idea that Ethereum would never scale and that something else would take over.
Four years later and nothing has come from most of these blockchains. Many continue to push but have not seen much adoption. Some have run out of money; dumping further development into the hands of their community.
A small handful of chains have found some success by focusing on only one industry, for example, Polkadot and DeFi. None of which have even come close to replacing Ethereum.
When these new chains failed to live up to expectations, Layer 2 options sprouted. These options took the Ethereum chain and created an additional layer that made transactions free (or very cheap).
This gave options to users still wanting to use Ethereum but searching for cheaper transactions.
None of these side chains have taken advantage of the time it took for Ethereum to scale. If Ethereum scales without a problem it could see the end of the ‘Ethereum Killer’ saga and the end to many chains that failed to produce results.
Now, with Ethereum 2.0 seeming so close, boasting speed increases with the scalability required for real-world adoption.
Currently, 95% of transaction volume growth belongs to Ethereum DeFi dapps. If Ethereum 2.0 is successful there may not be anyone overtaking them for years to come.