As the concept of cryptocurrency
continues to shake up the finance world, more and more of its kind continue to emerge. At first, it was just Bitcoin working hard to legitimize what cryptocurrency was all about. But after a few years, there came Ethereum. Though it remains underrated compared to the pioneering Bitcoin, Ehtereum has still built itself a foundation as one of the premier cryptocurrencies out there. Today, it's become a vital cryptocurrency that has the potential to be as big or possibly even bigger than Bitcoin. But what is Ehtereum? Here are the basics you need to know!
What is Ethereum?
It's important to first distinguish what Ethereum really is. While many think that it's another type of cryptocurrency, that's necessarily the most accurate description. In truth, Ethereum refers to the blockchain that in turn has its own cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH). But over the years, many have simply regarded Ether as Ethereum as one mostly needs the blockchain in order to acquire the cryptocurrency. Eventually, thanks to the fact that it has its own platform, Ethereum now ranks as the second-highest cryptocurrency in terms of market value, right behind the most popular of them all, Bitcoin
The History of Ethereum
So, how did Ethereum come about? It all started with a 17-year-old Russian-Canadian programmer named Vitalik Buterin. Back in 2013, he introduced the concept of Ethereum in his whitepaper entitled 'A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform.” In it, he explained that Ethereum is a new platform developers can use for decentralized applications ('dApps'). Eventually, in 2015, a small group of blockchain enthusiasts officially launched Ethereum alongside the Ether, making way to the blockchain and cryptocurrency the world knows today. Over time, Ethereum came to be accepted by many businesses around the world.
The Main Difference Between Ethereum and Other Cryptocurrencies?
Unlike Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum can only be used with the blockchain platform. Think of it as having a personal bank account wherein you can store your hard-earned cash. With its own platform, the Ethereum cryptocurrency can be easily bought, sold, traded, and regulated. Meanwhile, going beyond its purpose as a blockchain, Ethereum also serves as a place where developers can build and store applications, called 'smart contracts,' all while avoiding the risk of third-party interference. Ensuring maximum security and a space for developers to trade and innovate, Ethereum opens a lot more possibilities compared to other cryptocurrencies.
Working with Ethereum
Perhaps it's easier to understand Ethereum if you see it more as an online marketplace than a digital ledger. While other blockchains only let you list down, store, and confirm transactions, the Ethereum platform allows you to sell and work on different apps, tinker with games, provide financial services, and more. The transactions are made right on the programmable network, setting aside all the usual limitations that other blockchains impose. And at the center of it all is the Ether cryptocurrency, the 'fuel' that allows developers to do whatever they want within the confines of the Ethereum platform.
The Ethereum 2.0
While Ethereum was already a force to be reckoned with in the world of cryptocurrency, it's also undergoing a long-awaited upgrade to Ethereum 2.0. Although no date has been set for its release, it's said that it will launch within the next decade or so. As for what to expect in Ethereum 2.0, also called 'Serenity,' the main difference will be its stability. One of the main problems the current Ethereum faces now is that it's often unable to handle multiple developments all at once. At times, it has even resulted in slower transactions. But with Ethereum 2.0, things like these will no longer be a concern.
Ethereum is only one of many cryptocurrencies that shaking up the financial world. It's important to know more about it if you want to get in on all the action. It's definitely the new frontier when it comes to digital currency!