Ethereum is one of the most exciting new developments in the blockchain technology space right now. It’s an open-source, public platform that allows developers to build smart contracts and decentralized apps on top of its blockchain. However, many people have never heard of it before and may be wondering what it actually is, how it works, and whether they should start paying attention to it or not. In this guide, we will try to answer all those questions so you can learn everything you need to know about Ethereum. Let’s get started!
How was Ethereum created?
In late 2013, an 18-year-old programmer from Toronto named Vitalik Buterin had a problem. He’d been following Bitcoin for some time and had run across its limitations. So, he came up with his own protocol: Ethereum.
Although it shares much in common with Bitcoin, there are some key differences that have many people excited about its potential.
How does it work?
This seemingly simple question has no clear-cut answer, but it’s actually a great way to gauge your understanding of Ethereum. If you have an in-depth response, then good job! That means that you understand its architecture and inner workings.
If not, let’s dive in deeper by talking about some of Ethereum’s core features: Smart Contracts, Decentralized Applications (DApps), and digital tokens like Ether.
Smart contracts: Ethereum is known as a smart contract platform because it allows people to enter into agreements without relying on any third parties or middlemen. Smart contracts are self-executing pieces of code that automatically carry out obligations between parties when certain conditions are met. Because these contracts exist in computer code instead of legal prose, there is no ambiguity regarding their function or application. The result is greater speed, efficiency, and security than what we’re used to with traditional forms of commerce or governance—all while cutting out intermediaries who add cost, complexity, and potential points of failure along every step of a transaction process.
DApps: To facilitate smart contracts, Ethereum uses decentralized applications called DApps. These applications run on blockchain networks, which consist of thousands of individual computers around the world running software that validates transactions and keeps track of accounts. The network itself is also capable of being programmed to complete tasks using if/then statements and other programming commands. For example, if someone sends 5 ETH from address A to address B at time X, send 1 ETH from address C to address D at time Y. In essence, DApps make up a vast global computer made up of thousands upon thousands of individual computers owned by different people all over the world.
Digital tokens: All of these elements combine to create one of Ethereum’s most important features—digital tokens. Similar to how a dollar bill is both a piece of paper and worth $1, digital tokens are simply lines of code that hold monetary value. With Ethereum, those tokens can represent anything from dollars, euros, and yen through something more exotic like gold bullion or even loyalty points for online services such as Amazon Prime. As long as you trust that the token will be able to be redeemed for whatever it represents, it holds value. And since they’re stored on distributed ledgers, they can never be counterfeited or double-spent. They’re also immune to the types of fraud and identity theft that plague centralized systems. It’s this combination of features—smart contracts, DApps, and tokens—that makes Ethereum so compelling. By allowing us to exchange money, property, shares, or anything of value in a transparent, conflict-free way while avoiding the services of a middleman, Ethereum enables us to transact quickly and cheaply without needing to place our trust in fallible humans.
Ethereum vs bitcoin
Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is an open-source project that isn’t owned or overseen by any individual. Anyone with internet access can run a node on the network or interact with it; however, unlike Bitcoin’s functionality to only build virtual currency (bitcoins), Ethereum offers its users much more: the ability to create smart contracts and other decentralized apps directly within Ethereum-based blockchain technologies.
Smart contracts can lay the foundation for many applications on Ethereum including stablecoins (which are pegged to the dollar via smart contract), decentralized finance apps collectively known as DeFi, and other decentralized apps.
Digital gold is a term used to describe Bitcoin, the first blockchain-based cryptocurrency. Its limited supply (the maximum number of bitcoins that can be mined is 21 million) may ensure that it retains value in an increasingly digital economy.
Ethereum, with its second-largest cryptocurrency market cap, is like digital silver in that it has a wide variety of applications and serves as an alternative to the precious metal.
Basically, Bitcoin and Ethereum have completely different use cases. Bitcoin acts as a store of value, similarly to gold; while Ether enables innovative applications through its platform the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
The Ethereum Virtual Machine: The platform on which smart contracts run allows them to be independent of any centralized computer. This means they can run on all computers connected to Ethereum’s network.
Will it keep going up in value?
While there is no way of knowing if or when Ethereum will go up in value, there are many signs that indicate it’s a good time to invest right now. Here are just a few reasons why:
1) Ethereum has been adopted by several major companies including Microsoft and JP Morgan Chase.
2) Cryptocurrency experts predict its price will continue to rise steadily as more people adopt it.
3) You can buy small amounts of Ether on popular exchanges like Coinbase so there’s no minimum investment required.
4) You can store your Ether in digital wallets, which means you don’t have to worry about security.
5) If you want to use Ether instead of cash or credit cards, it offers an alternative payment option that can be used at brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers alike.
Is Ether a good investment?
When you hear cryptocurrency, one name that often comes to mind is bitcoin. That digital currency has dominated headlines thanks in part to its rapid appreciation and market capitalization growth. But bitcoin is not alone. In 2017, Ethereum has emerged as one of these next-generation cryptocurrencies after a surge in popularity over recent months.
Cryptocurrency is a highly volatile form of investment. It’s not for everyone, and you should consider your risk tolerance before investing.But if you are considering investing in cryptocurrency, experts recommend focusing on just two well-known digital coins: Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Invest no more than 5% of your total portfolio in any one investment, and invest only what you would not mind losing. Never invest at the expense of other financial priorities like paying off debt or saving for retirement.
Experts recommend that you invest in well-known coins like Ethereum, but there is still risk involved. Cryptocurrencies are a new asset class with no long-term performance data available; so investors have to rely on short-term results instead.
What is Ethereum merge
The Ethereum Merge is the merging of Ethereum’s proof-of-stake (PoS) Beacon Chain with the mainnet to transition the blockchain of its legacy proof-of-work system.
In mid-September 2022, Ethereum officially switched from its PoW model to a PoS one. The new version of the blockchain—Ethereum 2.0—has given rise to many innovations that will greatly reduce the consumption of energy by miners and make it easier for developers in building apps on top of Ethereum’s blockchain.
The blockchain has been moved to a new set of nodes that must stake or lock up 32 ETH in order to qualify as validators.
Could Ethereum be worth more than Bitcoin?
In the world of crypto, Bitcoin is still dominant.
But in recent years, Ethereum has gained traction in the market by introducing innovative applications made possible by its blockchain — leading some to predict that ETH could eventually overtake BTC as the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency.
Ethereum has established itself as a leader in blockchain innovation. The most well-known developments of the past few years — including smart contracts, decentralized applications (dApps), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — originated on Ethereum’s blockchain.
Some analysts are predicting that we’ll soon see the Flippening: a major event in which another cryptocurrency overtakes Bitcoin as the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency. Is this possible?
- A new Goldman Sachs analysis argues that Ethereum could eventually overtake Bitcoin as the most valuable cryptocurrency. The investment bank highlights Ether’s advantages over BTC, including its ability to run applications like DeFi protocols—which are used by decentralized lending platforms and exchanges
- Profit-seeking investors like Jim Cramer believe that Ethereum’s decentralized applications will give the cryptocurrency long-term value.
- ETH proponents who believe that the supply of new ETH will be limited are watching for a major upgrade planned for this summer. The upgrade(called EIP-1559) is designed to reduce the number of new coins created over time, in accordance with demand; if it works as expected, prices may rise.
- As of now, ETH’s market cap ($146 billion) is around 46% of BTC’s ($312 billion). But Ethereum has often surpassed Bitcoin by other key metrics.