Name Price24H (%)
Bitcoin (BTC)
$10,730.14
0.77%
Ethereum (ETH)
$356.44
3.05%
XRP (XRP)
$0.243396
4.98%
Litecoin (LTC)
$46.23
3.39%
Ethereum Genesis
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Ethereum Genesis

Ethereum is an open source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality.

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Launched in 2015, Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based, decentralized software platform used for its own cryptocurrency, ether. It enables SmartContracts and Distributed Applications (DApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control, or interference from a third party.

Standing Out from Bitcoin

It supports a modified version of Nakamoto consensus via transaction-based state transitions. Ether is a cryptocurrency generated by the Ethereum platform and used to compensate mining nodes for computations performed. Each Ethereum account has an ether balance and ether may be transferred from one account to another.

Ethereum is not just a platform but also a programming language (Turing complete) running on a blockchain, helping developers to build and publish distributed applications.

Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale that took place between July and August 2014.[4] The system then went live on 30 July 2015, with 72 million coins “premined”. This accounts for about 68 percent of the total circulating supply in 2019.

In 2016, as a result of the exploitation of a flaw in The DAO project’s smart contract software, and subsequent theft of $50 million worth of ether, Ethereum was split into two separate blockchains – the new separate version became Ethereum (ETH) with the theft reversed, and the original continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC).

Getting to Know Ethereum

The applications run on Ethereum are run on a platform-specific cryptographic token, ether. During 2014, Ethereum had launched a pre-sale for ether which had received an overwhelming response. Ether is like a vehicle for moving around on the Ethereum platform and is mostly sought by developers looking to develop and run applications inside Ethereum.

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Ether is used broadly for two purposes: it is traded as a digital currency exchange like other cryptocurrencies, and it is used inside Ethereum to run applications and even to monetize work.

According to Ethereum, it can be used to “codify, decentralize, secure, and trade just about anything.” One of the big projects around Ethereum is Microsoft’s partnership with ConsenSys which offers “Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) on Microsoft Azure so Enterprise clients and developers can have a single click cloud-based blockchain developer environment.”

Why the Name ‘Ethereum’?

Vitalik Buterin picked the name Ethereum after browsing Wikipedia articles about elements and science fiction, when he found the name, noting, “I immediately realized that I liked it better than all of the other alternatives that I had seen; I suppose it was the fact that sounded nice and it had the word ‘ether’, referring to the hypothetical invisible medium that permeates the universe and allows light to travel.”

Ethereum’s Token

Ether is a fundamental token for operation of Ethereum, which thereby provides a public distributed ledger for transactions. It is used to pay for gas, a unit of computation used in transactions and other state transitions. Mistakenly, this currency is also referred to as Ethereum.

Ether is used broadly for two purposes: it is traded as a digital currency exchange like other cryptocurrencies, and it is used inside Ethereum to run applications and even to monetize work.

Toe to Toe with Bitcoin

Ethereum is different from Bitcoin (the cryptocurrency with the largest market capitalization as of June 2018) in several aspects:

  • Its block time is 14 to 15 seconds, compared with 10 minutes for bitcoin.
  • Mining of ether generates new coins at a usually consistent rate, occasionally changing during hard forks, while for bitcoin the rate halves every 4 years.
  • For proof-of-work, it uses the Ethash algorithm which reduces the advantage of specialized ASICs in mining.
  • Transaction fees differ by computational complexity, bandwidth use and storage needs (in a system known as gas), while bitcoin transactions compete by means of transaction size, in bytes.
  • Ethereum uses an account system where values in Wei are debited from accounts and credited to another, as opposed to Bitcoin’s UTXO system, which is more analogous to spending cash and receiving change in return.
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