10 Things to Know About Ethereum
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If you heard of cryptocurrency, or if you have interacted with the blockchain at all, chances you have already heard the terms Ethereum, Ether, or Gas are bandied about. These keywords relate to a cryptocurrency called Ethereum, one of the most successful blockchains in this century.
Co-started by Vitalik Buterin in 2013, Ethereum has grown a lot since then, becoming a very successful currency and amassing quite the name for itself. But if you haven’t had the opportunity to actually get to know what Ethereum is, look no further. In this article, we discuss 10 key points about Ethereum and hopefully, we’ll be able to develop key knowledge about Ethereum and an insight into its role in today and the future.
1) Who is Vitalik Buterin?
Ethereum is a cryptocurrency that was co-founded by Vitalik Buterin, a Canadian-Russian citizen. At first, Vitalik wanted to bring about a few tweaks in the Bitcoin system. What he envisioned was a scripting language for Bitcoin, in order to begin application development for the Bitcoin blockchain. However, he found little support for his idea, and rather than to be discouraged by the lack of traction his ideas were garnering, Vitalik decided to begin anew.
He had already done writing for several acclaimed Bitcoin-related magazines, the most notable being the Bitcoin Magazine that he also helped found for the purpose of increasing the mainstream attention of Bitcoin. Furthermore, Buterin had a post on the scholarly journal Ledger, where he would publish original works of research on the blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Buterin went on to co-found Ethereum, and to help in making an original blockchain framework for it. He was the recipient of several accolades, including the Thiel Fellowship Award and the World Technology Award, both in 2014.
2) What is a Smart Contract?
Despite Buterin’s origins from the Bitcoin blockchain, he strove to create a completely different system which would not compete so much as enable both structures to grow independently of each other. The result was the creation of Ethereum.
Ethereum and Bitcoin have different uses. For example, Bitcoin is largely used as a currency. You can buy and sell in Bitcoin, but not much else, without needing a service provider or third-party and whatnot.
Ethereum, however, is a different matter altogether. Its primary focus is as a ‘smart-contract’, which needs proper definition by itself. A contract, as the name implies, requires certain stipulations to be fulfilled before the payment is executed. And ‘smart’ refers to the electronic, purely machine operated nature of the asset.
So, this means that Ethereum is an electronic contract. When two people enter the agreement, the service provider must complete the agreed request of the consumer before receiving any payment. As such, Ethereum is shown to be a contract, more than it is a currency.
3) Ethereum Allows for Users to Make Their Own Apps
In order to facilitate more advanced coding, Ethereum gives its users access to create whatever operations they can think of. Remember Vitalik Buterin’s desire to allow for a scripting language in Bitcoin? Well, the primary reason for this dream was to allow crypto users to make the most of their money in new and innovative ways.
The open access in the Ethereum system lets the users make their own modifications to the system to come up with their own applications. This is how the users make their own smart contracts; by manipulating the code around, Ethereum users can make virtually any stipulation in Ethereum smart contracts.
4) Ether is the currency of Ethereum
So, as we said earlier, Ethereum isn’t really a cryptocurrency; instead, it has a type of crypto coin called Ether for this purpose. Like Bitcoin, it has the ability to be used as payment and to be exchanged for services.
Ether is the second most valuable coin on the market second only to Bitcoin. Needless to say, it’s going pretty strong at the moment. And it’s probably the best choice for investment if you aren’t too keen on having to worry about your assets depreciating by half of their value overnight or rising again to ten times their previous price. In fact, most virtual debit cards accept Bitcoin and Ether as valid currencies, like Amon Card, TenX, and Monaco.
5) Ethereum is used to establish D.A.O.s
A D.A.O. (Decentralised Autonomous Organization) is a fully self-running company that does not have a single leader. It is controlled by a collection of programming codes and Ethereum contracts. Due to the blockchain, these companies are fully decentralised and so can operate with equal efficiency virtually anywhere. Unlike normal companies, in the D.A.O. rights are given to all those who hold tokens and all token holder possess voting rights. Read more on them here.
6) Ethereum is supported by large businesses
Ethereum was launched after a crowdfunding campaign initiative launched by Vitalik Buterin. The campaign overshot its goal and was extremely successful, backed by many companies. This is common knowledge; however, what many people do not know is that some of these companies include Samsung SDS, Toyota Research Institute, Microsoft, Intel and many others. This goes to show that Ethereum is really a winning horse, and you shouldn’t delay in getting a slice of that cake yourself.
7) Ethereum is concerned about security
Ethereum is constantly on the lookout for hackers and other types of internet scandals. As of yet, there have been few recorded instances of Ethereum users being robbed, and this makes for a strong trust in the users for the system. Whenever something does come up, however, Ethereum is the first to tackle it.
8) Ethereum is Written in C++
In order to facilitate usage, it is coded for C++, Rust, and Go. It also has its own script for contracts as we mentioned earlier.
9) Ethereum has ‘forked’
There are now two types of Ethereum: Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. The fork is a split in the userbase over a disagreement of how to best ensure security for everyone.
10) Ethereum is extremely popular
In fact, its blockchain is used by 77.74% of all ICO company projects. Read more here.