Everyone must have heard about Bitcoin. For many people it has become a synonym to cryptocurrency and hardly anyone will be against adding some of these valuable coins to their budget. Today we have hundreds of cryptocurrencies, however, they all seem to be overshadowed by Bitcoin. But the truth is that there is no actual monopoly of world`s first digital currency. And if we talk about alternatives, the first thing that comes to our minds is Ethereum indeed.
Back in 2013 Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin described a concept of Ethereum. He must have done a great job, as yet in 2014 he received 100 thousand dollars from Thiel Fellowship and got 2014 World Technology Award in the IT Software category. Ethereum was intended to become not just a new cryptocurrency but a functional blockchain-platform that could be used to create and operate decentralized blockchain-based applications. And it really worked out. Launched it 2015, the project has significantly influenced the upcoming crypto-boom and gave birth to many startups. Its flexible and multifunctional environment made it possible to create blockchain-projects even for those who are not professional programmers.
The internal currency of the project is called Ether (ETH). Today it is world`s second digital coin by market capitalization and third most expensive one ($869).
Ethereum`s breakthrough was the use of smart-contracts. Every single ICO is now based on this mechanism. Investor transfers a particular amount of currency to the address of project`s smart contract and receives tokens back. Smart-contract is actually an algorithm that allows to make commercial blockchain-based deals. It also ensures that transaction is made directly from one party to another without any agents like banks, payment systems, etc. Smart-contract has ironclad guarantees — math. If a party does not complete the necessary algorithm, the digital deal is failed. Such deals do not have any interpretation risks. They can not be interpreted differently as they are based on calculations that ensure no alternatives. 2×2 is always 4. If a party breaches the contract, there is no need in going to the court. Math will settle all the disputes automatically.
However, this is probably not the greatest thing about Ethereum. Its blockchain environment has became a kind of a specific decentralised software used by many projects from investment funds to online poker platforms. Ethereum has expanded the boundaries of blockchain. Today it is not just a cryptocurrency. It may be the most important blockchain-based platform that is rapidly moving humanity towards the digital future.