Mark Cuban: What I look at when comparing blockchains like bitcoin and ethereum – CNBC

Mark Cuban: What I look at when comparing blockchains like bitcoin and ethereum – CNBC

When comparing different blockchains, billionaire Mark Cuban looks at a few specific characteristics before investing.

“Most people look at speed and cost compared to BTC [bitcoin] or ETH [ethereum],” Cuban tells CNBC Make It. “While those things can be important, I look at blockchains as networks with development platforms via smart contracts.” 

Cuban is referring to the capabilities of each blockchain beyond speed and cost of cryptocurrency transactions. Each blockchain, which is a decentralized digital ledger that documents cryptocurrency transactions and other information, is unique.

For example, the ethereum blockchain can execute smart contracts, which power decentralized applications like DeFi, or decentralized finance, and NFTs, or nonfungible tokens. The ethereum blockchain features its cryptocurrency ether, but can also work as a platform for other digital coins.

These aspects of ethereum are appealing to Cuban, he previously said. Due to its smart contracts, he likens this blockchain to the internet, since different platforms, from things like DeFi to social media sites, can be built on it.

Other experts agree. “Ethereum [is] looking for ways to become a fully working infrastructure platform,” Kathy Lien of BK Asset Management recently told CNBC. “Ethereum itself can perform a number of economic tasks, so it goes beyond” bitcoin, which is known as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.

That’s why, according to Cuban, “the platforms that have the most active developers and create applications with significant utility for their users will have a network effect.” In