First, I'd never say never. Only a Sith deals in absolutes. That aside, let's address your hypothetical: can BTC succeed ETH as a decentralized, smart contract (SC), token issuance, privacy friendly platform?
Thank you for acknowledging ETH is ahead btw.
So asking why being 50x+ behind the leader of a race would make it hard to win should be obvious.
My belief is ETH's L1 & L2 privacy research is further ahead but I could be mistaken.
If these base tokens are to serve as global commodity monies, they must be evaluated from a global economic perspective, not only a protocol one.
* L1 throughput is near capacity and too limited (L1 throughput constrains L2 capacity)
* LN is an experiment that requires solving near impossible engineering feats in routing
* PoW is centralizing/costly
* L2 featurization (e.g., adding SC to L2 sidechains) is centralizing/limiting/inelegant
* zero inflation may not be feasible, particularly in PoW
SCs make money infinitely more programmable.
They give it more utility.
Where the pro-BTC/anti-ETH/Twitter hodlconomists fail in their critiques is simple intellectual honesty. The critiques are largely superficial and poorly researched and they fail to apply the same rigor (which isn't saying much) to their beloved.