A regular definition of Ethereum describes it as an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contract functionality.
The above definition, although simple in appearance may be difficult to understand by anyone who is not familiar with blockchain. In this post, we will attempt to break that down and help you understand what Ethereum is all about and the benefits it offers to the blockchain ecosystem.
Before Ethereum, only geeks and expert coders had the privilege of being able to develop blockchain products. To do so, you must be familiar with complex computer languages, cryptography, mathematics, etc. The advent of Ethereum changed all of that, as the platform now provides an almost already made canvas that can be twitched here and there to achieve particular solutions.
With the above description, we can redefine Ethereum as an open software platform that is blockchain-based that provides developers the tools that they need to build specific decentralized applications (dApps).
Ethereum was invented by Russian-American programmer, Vitalik Buterin. The Ethereum whitepaper was released in 2013, but before then, Buterin had been active within the Bitcoin ecosystem as a cofounder of Bitcoin Magazine, a platform where he had written several articles.
Even though Ethereum was not the first ICO ever to be executed, its success and the awareness it created gave rise to the following ICO wave that the blockchain industry experienced. The Ethereum ICO was carried out between July and August 2014.
An aspect of the Ethereum platform that has become very popular is the Smart Contract. This is a computer code that enables settlements between parties without the need for intermediaries. It is currently being used in areas that involve any form of exchange, such as money, content, property, shares, etc.
Smart contracts function in such a way that the predetermined conditions of an agreement are written into a code and activated between parties. This has enabled the creation of a trustless system where parties can go into an agreement without the fear of defaulting, or failure of fulfillment. Despite coming after several other blockchains, ETH grew very quickly to become the second biggest cryptocurrency in terms of capitalization, only second to Bitcoin. This is a position that it has sustained for a very long time.
A lot of people believe that the growth of ETH is as a result of its high level of adoption by being a blockchain upon which other blockchain products are built. This has earned it the nickname “ a blockchain of blockchains”. The fans of ETH believe that someday it will rise to become the biggest blockchain platform, with its native cryptocurrency, Ether, likewise becoming the biggest cryptocurrency. Whether that will happen remains to be seen in the course of time.
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