Ethereum is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world and a viable contender for the Bitcoin throne. Ethereum takes much of what Bitcoin offers and improves upon it with faster transactions, smart contracts and native apps.
Pros & Cons of Ethereum
- Massive developer following
- Innovative smart contract system has revolutionized the industry
- More utility than than the average cryptocurrency
- Faster transactions than Bitcoin
- Backed by reputable individuals in the cryptocurrency world
- Transactions aren’t as fast as some of the newer alt-coins
- Smart contracts are subject to human error
- Can be confusing to new users thanks to its many platforms
Ethereum General Overview
Ethereum might sound like just another cryptocurrency but it’s actually a globally operated super computer. It might sound like science fiction but it’s true. Much like Bitcoin’s network, Ethereum is run on millions of computers around the world. The main innovation of this decentralized cryptocurrency network was the unique capacity to run smart contracts on its blockchain. Most people, however, still use Ethereum primarily as cryptocurrency. It remains one of the most popular altcoins in the world and a darling amongst developers and investors alike.
Best Exchanges for Buying Ethereum
You can buy Ethereum at many cryptocurrency exchanges, including:
Best Ethereum Wallets
You can store your Ethereum using many different crypto wallets including:
- Ledger Nano X
- Ledger Nano S
- Trezor One
- Trezor Model T
- Exodus Wallet
- Jaxx Liberty
- Atomic Wallet
History of Ethereum
Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by one of its founders, Vitalik Buterin. It was later picked up and pursued by co-founders Joseph Lubin and Gavin Wood. During July and August in 2014, Ethereum raised money through a crowdsale, and then formally launched the platform in July 2015.
Ethereum was largely responsible for the cryptocurrency bubble that took place in 2017. This bubble inflated the price of Ether to $1432.88 USD. Ethereum, as a platform made it very simple for people to create their own token, or cryptocurrency. This in turn fuelled a rally in the industry, with most projects raising millions of dollars for their project with nothing more than just a whitepaper. Much like when a company is taken public in an Initial Public Offering (IPO), the cryptocurrency equivalent is called the Initial Coin Offering. ICO’s became very easy to build, launch, and implement with Ethereum as a base platform.
The ease of creating new tokens came from engineering a “template coin” or token that allowed for anyone with a basic understanding of Ethereum to launch their own token. This template standard is known as ERC20, and thus you will frequently read that a token or coin is an ERC20 token.
With many projects choosing Ethereum as a platform in which to run their newly crafted cryptocurrency, problems with scaling the network became an issue. Ethereum can process between 20 and 30 transactions per second. When comparing this number to VISA or Mastercard, Ethereum falls short of being able to handle a global load of transactions.
The Ethereum Foundation, which is the governing body that guides the development of Ethereum have planned several milestones and upgrades to the Ethereum network that in theory, will allow the network to scale to become the global transaction supercomputer that it originally promised to be. These upgrades are dubbed Byzantium, Constantinople, and Serenity. The upgrades range from support for secure random numbers, to sharding. Once completed and deployed, these upgrades will form the Ethereum 2.0 network.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Ethereum
Ethereum has a thriving developer, and user ecosystem. This is the largest advantage of using Ethereum. Community involvement and activity should not go under valued, as having a community of users to aid and assist you in your crypto journey is important when you come across situations and questions that you need answered.
Ethereum also has a thriving dApp ecosystem. This is another advantage as it allows for a wide range of things that you can do with your Ethereum tokens. It is fairly easy for anyone to create or publish their own tokens on the Ethereum Blockchain. This reduces the barrier to entry to fundraising, as well as implementing a proof of concept.
Ethereum is not without its faults. It is important to know about the various issues with Ethereum before getting involved. Ethereum has trouble with scalability, meaning the relative number of transactions per second is low. VISA can process 65,000 transactions per second, which makes it capable of handling a global load of transactions. Ethereum is at the lower end, able to process only 25 transactions per second.
There are more than a dozen instances of Ethereum smart contract hacks that have taken place since the inception of Ethereum. It is important that you are aware of this, when trusting a smart contract with your funds. Although this hinges on a lack of security, it is important to take note that the developer community has been over top of mending such hacks as they occur.
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