Over the past 6 months, the cryptocurrency scene has become a hotspot in finance, technology and investments. The world as a whole has taken notice, and more people are turning to cryptocurrency for investment opportunities. Before you invest in any cryptocurrency, however, it is imperative that you acquire an in-depth knowledge about it.
In this post, you will find all the pertinent details as far as Ethereum, the world’s second biggest cryptocurrency is concerned.
Bitcoin was created to make worldwide payments easier, cheaper, and faster. To do this, a decentralized peer-to-peer network was established. For all intents and purposes, the network was working perfectly; it was doing exactly what it was created for, and it was doing it well.
After some years, however, a young bitcoin-enthusiast came up ideas on how to improve the bitcoin network. According to him, if the network was incorporated with some scripting languages, it would become a great platform for building applications, thereby improving the functionality of the network beyond just payments and transactions.
When he couldn’t find the support he needed to make the necessary changes to the bitcoin network, he started Ethereum, another public blockchain-based decentralized network. Unlike bitcoin, however, Ethereum had scripting functionality and was Turing-complete.
Using a global network of public nodes, the Ethereum platform runs smart contracts. In plain English, the platform allows applications execute computing tasks exactly as it is programmed without the possibility of failure, censorship, fraud, or interference from a third party.
If for example, 2 companies want to settle stock options, the current practice is to employ the services of a third party, say a stock exchange. With Ethereum, however, both companies can conduct the transaction on a shared network that ensures transparency on both sides. As a result, they save some money on fees, and they avoid involving a third party.
This particular functionality makes Ethereum attractive to financial organizations, and many banks are considering how to incorporate Ethereum with their operating systems. Companies like Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, IBM, Deloitte are working on building Ethereum-based platforms, while Samsung and Toyota have already used Ethereum to track some product lines that involved complex supply chains.
On Ethereum, developers can: create their own blockchain-based platforms and cryptocurrencies, create markets and store records of financial transactions, transfer funds instantly and schedule future transactions (like a futures contract or a will), build other decentralized applications etc. In fact, as time passes, more applications of the platform are expected to be discovered.
Ethereum is managed by the Ethereum Foundation under the leadership of well-experienced tech consultant and Manager, Ming Chan. Chan studied Computer Science at MIT and has over 20 years of management experience under her belt.
Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum joins her on the Ethereum Foundation team. As a developer, he learned about the vast possibilities presented by blockchain and cryptocurrency technology, and it spurred him to start the Ethereum network. Presently, he leads Ethereum’s research team.
As at mid-December 2017, Ethereum had a market cap of over $65 billion, accounting for just over 12% of the total market share for all cryptocurrencies. In comparison, Bitcoin accounts for almost 57% of the total market share. Therefore, Ethereum still has room for substantial growth.
The opportunity to develop their smart contracts, along with their cryptocurrency tokens has driven lots of developers to the Ethereum platform, and hundreds of ICOs have been launched using the Ethereum platform. According to Cointelegraph, as at August 2017, there are over 5300 Ethereum-based tokens, and the number is expected to continue rising over time, translating to even more growth for the company.
Per CoinMarketCap, out of the top 20 most valuable assets on the blockchain, 16 are Ethereum-based.
Most blockchain-based platforms are payment networks, and therefore, lack the functionality of Ethereum. As such, Ethereum has little in the way of direct competition as a smart contract development platform.
Ethereum’s token, Ether was created to serve as the platform’s currency. But it is now being used as a means of payment just like bitcoin, and over the years, it has grown to become the second biggest cryptocurrency after BTC.
The near-limitless potential of Ethereum means the platform will never run out of business opportunities. Ethereum’s holy grail is their decentralized virtual machine; a network that is secure, immune from termination or control by an outside entity, and Turing-complete. It has unlimited applications and the potential to improve nearly every facet of life: from healthcare to finance to internet technology to data storage to the automotive industry to politics and so on.
As mentioned above, some of the biggest companies in the world are already looking for ways to incorporate Ethereum’s functionality into their platforms.
Since inception, Ethereum has grown by over 2o,000%. So, early investors have undoubtedly made back their original investments many times over.
For prospective investors, the fact that ETH has grown by over 7,000% over the past 12 months is enough encouragement that the company is on the right track.
The team at Ethereum is well-known in the blockchain development circles, and their product has been proven to be viable and legitimate. Therefore, their transparency is not under question.
Furthermore, their network is public and open-source, and they have a public GitHub page.
Likelihood of Critical Mass
Critical mass has already been reached and exceeded. Ethereum is already self-sustainable, and given the number of companies that have launched, and are planning to launch ICOs using Ethereum’s platform, their user count and functionality will surely continue to grow.
In conclusion, Ethereum seems to be a healthy company by all accounts, and since its launch in 2015, it has grown in leaps and bounds. Given the versatility of its platform, the expectation is that Ethereum will continue to grow.
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Disclaimer: The information contained herein is not intended to be a source of advice and the information and/or documents contained in this website do not constitute investment advice.