For well over 100 years, the stock market has stood on a pedestal above all other investment vehicles. Although it won’t outperform bonds, housing, or other commodities every year, none of these other investment channels comes close to matching the ultra-long-term annualized performance of the stock market.

But that’s not stopping cryptocurrencies from giving the market a run for its money. For example, Bitcoin and Ethereum (CRYPTO:ETH), the two largest digital currencies by market value, have galloped higher by 8,640% and 28,970%, respectively, over the trailing five-year period. Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P 500 has “edged” higher by a more modest 104% over the same time frame.

A visibly worried person looking at a crypto price chart on their tablet that soared, then plunged.

Image source: Getty Images.

Cryptocurrency investors are excited about the potential for blockchain technology to revolutionize payments and possibly even improve other aspects of life, such as supply chains. For instance, Ethereum’s blockchain is core to the success of decentralized finance (DeFi) — a financially focused blockchain utilizing smart contracts that’ll bypass traditional financial intermediaries that can slow or deny transactions. Ethereum’s blockchain could also be used to replace seemingly mile-long paper trails