A Brief History of Ethereum

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Discussing All Things Ethereum

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Ethereum is a software that is open to cryptocurrency applications. A platform for digital money to move with easily retrievable data services, regardless of your location. As a community-built application Ethereum enables you to lend, borrow, and save money; as long as you have access to the internet. It basically allows banking procedures to take place without having to deal with a middle-man.

How to buy Ethereum

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It’s important to find a cryptocurrency exchange platform that best suits your needs. It is the only way you will be able to trade in cryptocurrency. There is no third-party association such as a bank which you can open one from, which is why it is important to know how to buy Ethereum. Once you’ve chosen a platform and opened an account successfully, you may fund the account accordingly.   

The process is as easy as opening an email account.  In terms of payment channels, there are several payment methods to choose from. They all vary in complexity and fee structures. Be willing to verify yourself by giving away a bit of your personal information to proceed. It is one sure way to determine if you’re a real person.

Once you have funded your Ethereum account, you are able to buy Ether with your choice of currency. Which will then be converted to the percentage of the total value of ether coins purchased, or in simpler terms: tokens. After all of this, you will be able to save and store your Ethereum account for future use.

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Spending your Ethereum

When you receive your tokens, you are presented with a few options on how to use them. Over and above trading with them, they can be kept as value, or used as part of smart contracts. A smart-contract is the agreement between a buyer and a seller written into code. That code is widespread and decentralized to a blockchain, ensuring an irreversible and traceable agreement.  

Another way Ether can be spent is through the purchase of NFTs. These are non-fundable tokens that are acceptable on various exchange platforms. To receive your desired product after the exchange, the terms and conditions of the specified contract agreement must be met.  

More on the origins of Ethereum

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When you see the ‘history’ of anything you imagine that it must be at least a decade old. Ethereum is just one year shy of that. Realized in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin in theory, it was only formally established in 2014, at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami, Florida. 

Vitalik saw a niche in the already existing buyer-to-buyer Bitcoin exchange and felt the need to expand on it. Since then, Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency in market capitalization to date, owing to its optimal usability attributes. The Ethereum blockchain is fueled by the smart token contract.

The difference added by the Canadian-Russian programmer to the peer-to-peer, digital money exchange program, is that participants can write their own trading conditions. Thus creating smart contracts.

The difference between Ether and Ethereum

As much as the two tend to be used interchangeably, they are technically not the same. One (Ethereum)  is a software platform that enables applications to run on it and is decentralized. While the other (Ether) is what gets it going in the form of ETH cryptocurrency. Below is a list showing the difference:

Ethereum

  • Namely:
  • Ethereum Virtual Machine
  • Cryptocurrency 

Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) which then turns to Ether. 

  • EVM is also referred to as decentralized applications (Dapps). The following point is contentious however, Dapps are primarily known not to host any central point of failure. 
  • Termed by Ethereum’s developer pages, it is “an application built on a decentralized network that combines a smart contract and a fronted user interface.”.

Ether

  • Helps facilitate the large sharing network known as the EVM with cryptocurrency
  • The ether turned into cryptocurrency puts definable value on the Ethereum Virtual Machine and things get a little confusing here.
  • Ether is what cryptocurrency miners get paid from working on processing the blockchain and thereby incentivizing their efforts

The more Ether you front, the bigger your chances of turning processes. Less Ether/gas means there’s not enough fuel for your efforts to get noticed, and you still lose whatever you entered to front your process. As the saying goes-go big or go home. 

The worth of Ethereum

The price of Ether fluctuates just like the price of Bitcoin. At the time of writing this article, it stood at $1,973.87, marking a difference of  -2.01%  within 24 hours. The activity has left Ether’s market capitalization at $229,978,913,141.74 USD. 

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The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) was introduced in August 2014, establishing Ethereums’ original token. More than $16 million was raised from the initiative, with ETHs sold for $0.31 per coin. That’s over 50 million Ether coins sold.

By September 2021, 117.5 million ETHs circulated on the web. From that total 72 million were distributed within the Ether blockchain. The remainder was translated to reward blocks for miners trading on the Ethereum platform. From the 5 ETH reward per block in 2015 to 3 ETH in 2017, in 2019 it went down to 2 ETH reward per block. 

On average it takes a block 12 to 14 seconds to mine. An evaluation takes place after each block. The timing and evaluation is a security measure that ensures miners don’t put the networks’ security at risk with more computational power/activity. 

What to know before you buy into Ethereum

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In this day and age scammers are out in numbers. Lately, there has been a rise in fraudsters claiming to be professional crypto miners. The responsibility of knowing who not to trust lies on the individual. Here is what to know about cryptocurrency and scams if you plan on investing in cryptocurrency. 

  • Do not oblige anyone who demands that you pay in cryptocurrency, in advance or at all
  • There is no guarantee that you will make an immediate profit, ever
  • Investors don’t look for clients on dating sites

In essence, if someone contacts you surprisingly and offers unsolicited risk-free investment advice, it’s probably a scam. Aside from the occasional scams, it helps to understand the nature of Ethereum. It comes with pros and cons which are broken down in the last section of this read. 

Developmental Phases of the Ethereum Blockchain

From its inception in 2013, the Ethereum blockchain has been through some rises and falls. From reaching and exposing nuanced avenues, to experiencing compromising hacks: the following is a brief outline of all the phases it has endured so far.  

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  • 2013-ETH Whitepaper is released by its founder, Vitalik Buterin
  • 2014-ETH Yellow Paper is issued by Dr Gavin Wood
  • 2015-Initial Ether Sale and is bargained for Bitcoin

2015-The First Fork (Frontier Thawing Fork) enables buyers to operate in trade

  • 2016-The DAO fork: the largest and most disputed fork after the DAO contract work
  • 2017-The initial Ethereum Decentralized Application (Dapp), CryptoKitties, is established
  • 2020-The Staking Deposit contract is added to the blockchain’s manifest

2020-The Beacon Chain genesis is released as the first block, and also the start of Eth 2.0

It is fair to say that any movement worth embarking on is paved with thorns. The Ethereum life-span is no exception to the saying. Time will tell if it will weather the random storms and come out triumphant. 

Is Ethereum a worthwhile investment

In this case, it appears the good outweighs the bad, with 5 pros against 2 cons. Here is a simplified list:

Pros

  • The invention of smart contracts on the Ethereum platform enables users to legally secure their assets and track them with ease
  • Up to 10% of the world GDP will soon be using blockchain technology and the number is predicted to rise with more daily activities moving more and more to tech
  • Information on the blockchain is uncensored and remains there long after getting put up on the platform
  • An innovative channel that facilitates projects such as charging ports for electric cars, keeping medical records, running and maintaining renewable energy concepts, etc.
  • Ethereum is not capped, compared to Bitcoin

Cons

  • It has some competition, if that happens to grow better and stronger Ethereum is in trouble
  • Events such as the Dao Hack pose a threat of causing damage should they occur again

All in all, if you’re about progressive movements and believe in non-censorship then the cryptocurrency is one you can be happy to take part in. Of course with that being said, its high-risk nature is not to be taken lightly. Good or bad, it is still a gamble.

Considering its history and the continuous rise of Ether, here are 6 tips to help you navigate the crypto market. it is worth keeping an eye on, at the very least. Like most things tech, there is always something better waiting in the works. Staying above the curve also helps.  

 Author Bio:
Li-Anne Mcgregor van Aardt is a wordsmith who has written everything from editorials, blogs, and press releases, to poetry and rap songs, to a South African travel book, which she magically knocked out in 24 hours. Painting the world with her words is something Li-Anne has been doing for the past 16-plus years. Expect deep hues and careening colors of various vibrancy when traipsing her cascade of words. 

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