The world of technology has come a very long way in the last few decades. We now have all sorts of digital miracles at our fingertips, and a huge range of tech resources to help make life easier. It seems that new services and products are appearing on a daily basis, as we continue to move into the digital era. One name that has been doing the rounds in the world of technology recently is Ethereum, which many are describing as a global computer.
The history of Ethereum
The idea of this platform first came about in 2013. This idea was the brainchild of a crypto-currency programmer and researcher, Vitalik Buterin. After a lot of planning and hard work, crowd funding was successfully obtained for the development of the platform. In July 2015, this global platform was ready to roll and went live.
ince then, this global platform has gone through various updates and has gained worldwide recognition in the world of technology. It offers a range of features as well as a variety of benefits. These are points we will look at more closely through this guide.
So, what is Ethereum?
In a nutshell, Ethereum is an open software platform. It is based on blockchain technology, which means that developers can create and use decentralized applications. Blockchain technology is commonly linked to crypto-currencies like Bitcoin. However, this technology is actually used by a wide range of applications of which crypto-currency is just one.
Over the years, the creation of blockchain applications has been very involved and complicated. They required in-depth knowledge in areas such as cryptography, coding, and mathematics. In addition, costly resources were needed to build these applications. However, with technology moving at such as fast pace, it came as no surprise when an effective solution was created. This solution was Ethereum, which is able to provide developed with the tools required for the creation of decentralized applications.
Is it similar to Bitcoin?
The man who invented Ethereum was also involved with Bitcoin. Many people automatically assume that Ethereum is very similar to Bitcoin. However, while there are some similarities there are also stark differences you need to be mindful of. Both Ethereum and Bitcoin are distributed public blockchain networks. However, there are a number of key technical differences between these two.
One of the main differences between the two is in terms of capability and use. Bitcoin uses a certain application of blockchain technology, which is in the form of a peer to peer cash system. The blockchain from Ethereum, however, is all about running the programming codes of all decentralized applications.
With Bitcoin, miners work to earn Bitcoin, which can be used as an online currency, With Ethereum, you actually mine for Ether, which is like a crypto token. Ether is what helps to power and fuel Ethereum. It can be used as a tradable digital currency. However, it is also used by developers to pay transaction fees when using the network.
Why was Ethereum invented?
Prior to the invention of Ethereum, there were many limitations in place with regards to what blockchain applications could do. For instance, crypto currencies like Bitcoin were limited to operating as a peer to peer currency. This caused an issue for developers but their options were limited. They had to find a way to increase the number of functions offered by applications to overcome these limitations. Alternatively, they needed to develop a new blockchain application and platform.
This is where Buterin comes into the equation, as he recognized these problems as a programmer and developer. He decided that action needed to be taken and worked on a new approach. The idea he came up with was Ethereum, which has already made a huge difference to developers.
The core innovation behind this platform is the EVM, or Ethereum Virtual Machine. This Turing complete software runs on this platform and provides huge benefits. In a nutshell, this allows anyone to run any program no matter what the language of the program. The creation of blockchain applications has become far easier thanks to the EVM. This is because it eliminates the need to a new blockchain for every new application. Instead, it uses one platform to enable the creation of huge numbers of different applications.
What is it used for?
As mentioned earlier, this platform is used by developers to create decentralized applications. These applications use code that runs on a blockchain network. This means that the applications are not controlled by any centralized person or organization. The platform means centralized services can be decentralized easily and conveniently.
It can also be used for the creation of DAO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. These are decentralized and have no single leader. They use programming code and smart contracts that are written on the blockchain.
The code that is used is designed to take the place of the traditional structure and rules used by standard organizations. This then eliminates the need for both people and for any form of central control. The DAO will basically be owned by everyone buying tokens. However, they do not reflect equity shares and ownership. Instead, they provide people with voting rights.
What are the main benefits of this platform?
There are a number of key benefits that come with this decentralized platform. These are amongst the things that have helped to boost the popularity of the platform. Some of the key benefits that are associated with this platform include:
- Third party changes: Data on this platform cannot be changed by any third party
- No censorship: This network is created on the principles of consensus. This means that apps cannot be censored and are therefore corruption and tamper proof
- High security levels: Applications are secured by cryptography and have no central point of failure. This means that they are properly protected against issues such as fraud and hacking
- No downtime: There is no downtime to worry about with these applications. They never go down and cannot be switched off
- Creating opportunities: Another key benefit of this platform is that it is creating more opportunities. This is because of the rising demand for trained blockchain developers
What are the problems associated with the platform?
As you can see, there are various benefits that are linked to this platform. However, as is the case with everything, there are both pros and cons that you need to look at. This platform also has a downside, and the main potential problem relates to human error and issues. The smart contracts that are used with this platform are written by humans. This leaves room for problems, mistakes and oversights. Problems such as these can result in adverse actions being taken, albeit without intention.
If someone exploits a coding mistake, the only way it can be stopped is by rewriting the code. This will need a network consensus before it can be done, which can prove time consuming and long-winded. If a third party does take action, this will stand against the decentralized nature of the application and the platform as a whole.
Some of the apps that are being developed on this platform
This is a platform that has gained increasing popularity over recent years. More and more companies and developers are looking for this type of platform to benefit their own business. The platform is now being used to create a wide range of applications across a variety of services and industries. Some of the applications that are being developed or have been developed though this platform include:
This is an application designed to give users a safe and convenient solution to control their identity and personal information. With this application, you have a high level of control with regards to who can view and use your personal information.
An open-source prediction and forecasting platform, this application enables you to forecast events and reap the rewards. You can make predictions on real time events, and you carry them out by trading virtual shares. If you buy shares in a winning prediction, you can enjoy the financial rewards.
This application is designed to provide an open platform for crowdfunding campaigns. It leverages smart contracts and allows contributions to be converted into contractually backed digital assets. These are then used, sold or traded within Ethereum.
This provides business users with a simple solution to the creation, management, and deployment of blockchain applications. You will benefit from access to a wide range of tools and system to create these applications. The app makes it easier to create private, semi-private, and industry-based blockchain applications.
This application is designed to make charitable giving more beneficial. Many people do their bit by giving to a charitable cause. With Giveth, charitable donations and actions are decentralized through the use of blockchain technology.
The opportunities created by this platform
Since its creation, the Ethereum platform has created many opportunities. This not only refers to opportunities in relation to eCommerce but also opportunities for real people in terms of careers. The popularity of this and similar platforms has resulted in an increasing number of household brands taking an interest. Some are describing this decentralized system as a ‘fourth industrial revolution’. Some of the eCommerce opportunities created by the platform include one-click online commerce, machine to machine payments, decentralized autonomous organizations, and new business models,
The increased interest that businesses and household brands are now taking in the platform also means that demand for experienced blockchain professionals is on the increase. In fact, there is a shortage of professionals in this field. Experts believe that trained developers can earn in excess of $200,000 a year in income.
To try and combat this shortage in experienced blockchain developers, some educational facilities and companies have started offering courses. These are ideal for those who want to get into the rapidly emerging blockchain development industry. You can benefit from huge career opportunities by training on this field. According to some experts, many blockchain developers are receiving five or more job offers each day.
The Creation of Ethereum Classic
There are actually two blockchains now in existence under this platform, one of which is Ethereum Classic. The story behind this split is quite an interesting one. As we now know, one of the benefits of this platform is that it cannot be hacked. However, in 2016 this is exactly what happened with a startup DAO.
The startup had raised an impressive $150 million through a token sale. However, in 2016 it was hacked and $50 million worth of Ether was stolen. The hack occurred because of a problem with the actual software rather than with the actual platform. However, it still had a profound effect.
A community vote took place where some people voted on a change of code so that the DAO could recover the stolen funds. Others voted against this on the principle that blockchain transactions should not be changeable or reversible. This created a split in the community and resulted in a split of the platform as well.
This platform has already been through various chances since its development a few years ago. More and more people are learning about how the platform works and what its capabilities are. There have been teething problems with the platform and there are both pros and cons to consider. In addition, the incident with the DAO in 2016 proves that there are flaws.
However, the platform is something that embraces innovation and flexibility, which is why it has made a big impression over the past couple of years. Those involved with the platform are continuing to move forward at a rapid pace, so the future looks bright for Ethereum. Essentially, this platform is helping to speed up the decentralization of the global economy.