What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency by volume with a circulating supply of over 116 million ETH and a market cap of over $225 billion. It is also an open-source software platform that is the most popular blockchain in the world. Ethereum was developed in 2015 by a Canadian programmer, Vitalik Buterin, who wanted to create a blockchain network together with a cryptocurrency that offered more potential than Bitcoin, which was quite limited in use.
With Ethereum, users can buy and trade ETH as an investment while developers can use its software platform to create new applications that make using, buying or selling cryptocurrencies much easier and more efficient. Ethereum apps are meant for crypto users and usually surface as payment platforms and lending apps.
Ethereum is decentralised by nature and allows crypto to be sent and received without the intervention of any third party. Decentralised finance, also known as DeFi, is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of applications and projects that are inspired by blockchain technology using smart contracts. By using DeFi apps and protocols, users can transact without the need for access rights in order to lend, borrow, or trade with financial tools.
Ethereum apps are powered by smart contracts that are essentially programs that work automatically on the Ethereum blockchain and perform the functions that a third party normally would. Smart contracts help to speed up transactions with lower transaction fees, without the need for intermediaries and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.
Decentralised apps (Dapps) have some common features that include:
· Independently Managed — Dapps are not managed by any authority but rather have the rules written in a smart contract that is configured to the blockchain and operated independently without the need for human intervention.
· Open-source Code — Anybody is capable of accessing the blockchain or evaluating the blockchain’s functionality and capabilities as the code is open source. Open-source codes appear to offer more stability and security when compared to private codes as there is community interaction.
· Transparency — Dapps enable all transactions to be available publicly and all accounts are pseudo-anonymous, therefore it is not directly linked to a user’s real-life identity but uses a numerical address as a form of identification.
· Global Reach — Ethereum services and networks are available to anyone, irrespective of where in the world they are, provided they have an internet connection and smartphone.
· Permission Free Access — Users do not require permission to create, participate or improve on apps in the Ethereum network. There are no authorities that serve as gatekeepers and users can freely interact with smart contracts from their crypto wallets.
· Interoperable Functionality — Dapps can be developed by combining other Dapps using stablecoins and decentralised exchanges for the benefit of all users. Developers have the ability to use existing Dapps as a template in order to improve the functionality and operability.
The primary goal of Ethereum is to become a global platform for decentralised applications that removes third-party censorship, fraud, and downtime. Ether (ETH) is the digital currency of Ethereum and can be used as a store-of-value or as an investment. The Ethereum blockchain network makes it possible to create and operate applications, smart contracts and other types of transactions on the blockchain and comes with many benefits.
Benefits of Ethereum
Ethereum has many benefits that set it apart from other leading cryptocurrencies and make it an attractive option for investors and software developers alike.
Ethereum has a large network that has undergone stringent testing over the years together with a committed global community that contributes to the largest ecosystem in blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Ethereum is quite versatile and has a multitude of functions. Besides being used as a digital currency, Ethereum is useful in processing all types of financial transactions, executing smart contracts, and storing data for third-party applications.
Ethereum developers are proactive and are constantly looking at creative ways to improve the Ethereum network and create new applications on a decentralised platform.
Due to Ethereum’s decentralised nature, there is no need for third parties or intermediaries when transacting. Since no banks, financial institutions, third-party web hosting services, or lawyers are required, transacting becomes more seamless and cost-effective.
Ethereum’s way forward
In terms of the way forward, Ethereum’s developers have been working hard to improve its platform to provide a better user experience. Currently, when the network experiences heavy usage, traffic fees can become quite expensive and this may discourage users from using the platform. Developers have been working hard to counteract the prohibitive nature of Ethereum’s network and hope to fix this issue with the upcoming update of ETH2.0 in the near future. To add to this exciting development, ETH is also planning to move away from its original proof-of-work model as they look to adopt a proof-of-stake model with the ETH2.0 update.
Why invest in Ethereum?
As one of the most established large-cap cryptocurrencies in circulation, Ethereum has an extremely solid track record. Although cryptocurrencies are volatile in nature, large-cap cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum, are more attractive due to their range of functionality and a large community of investors.
While our team at Wisly are highly skilled, we are not financial advisors and do not make cryptocurrency investment recommendations, or provide advice and/or guidance. You must bear in mind that our thoughts on Ethereum are merely our opinion and we strongly recommend conducting your own research before committing to any cryptocurrency investment. We do, however, recommend using established platforms like Wisly (link to https://wisly.io/) to effectively track and analyse your crypto investments. Good Luck!