Founder: Vitalik Buterin
Founded date: Late 2013
Category: ERC20, Decentralised Apps
Mining: Proof of Work
Currency code: ETH
Official website: https://Eterheum.org/
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is an open software platform which enables its developers to build and deploy decentralised applications. Ethereum is based on the blockchain technology and it has its own digital currency called Ether. The purpose of Ethereum is to be a platform on which smart contracts can be built and run. These smart contracts help the users to exchange money, stocks, property, or anything that has value in a transparent way without having to use the services of a middleman.
Founded in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, it was bred through one of the earlier Initial Coin Offerings and went live in July 2015. Ethereum has become one of the largest digital currency in the world of cryptocurrencies in just over two years. It has soared in value over the past 1 year, appreciating by nearly 12,500 percent.
With the tech allowing other tokens to be issued, since it’s launch we have seen the rise of cryptocurrencies accelerate. Many great, and not so great, projects have been launched, piggybacking from the Ethereum network.
Ethereum vs Bitcoin
While both bitcoin and ether are based on blockchain technology that can be used to send money across borders without having to rely on a conventional bank, there are a lot of dissimilarities between the two. Let us compare and know more.
- Bitcoin Is Nothing More Than A Currency: Bitcoin specializes in its role as being the digital form of gold and is used as a store of value or as a medium for online transactions and payments. Whereas Ethereum is not just a digital currency but it is a technology with many aspects which features smart contracts. Many organizations are using this technology to build their own code-based contracts and decentralized applications.
- Create Your Own Digital Tokens To Enter Smart Contracts: Ethereum allows you to create your own cryptocurrency tokens or Ethers and implement your smart contracts using them. These smart contracts are easily compatible with any wallets and exchanges that make use of a standard coin API. While the supply of Bitcoin is capped at 21 million in total, there is no such cap placed on Ethereum. It is much like any other fiat currency and tokens can be mined over time (almost 18 million a year).
- Ethereum Does Not Rely On Kickstarter: Customised tokens issued on the Ethereum network are easily able to use crowdfunding to raise funds using the existing technology and infrastructure. It does not require commonly used applications like Kickstarter to fund its businesses. Platforms and services like these charge 5% site fees and anywhere between 3% – 5% payment processing fees which eat into the money generated for startup businesses. The developers using Ethereum’s smart contracts can seek pledges from the community, set a goal, and raise the money required for the project via Initial Coin Offerings.
- Transaction Speeds: While Bitcoin’s average time to validate a block is 10 minutes approximately, Ethereum manages to have an average block time of 10 to 12 seconds. This faster block time translates to more transactions and quicker confirmations. The reward for mining Bitcoins is currently valued at 12.5 Bitcoins. In the case of Ethereum, the rewards which are based on proof-of-work algorithm are valued at 5 Ethers for each block.
Crypto Coins That Are Similar To Ethereum
Ethereum is not alone in the quest to develop decentralized applications. Here are some other coins that are quite similar in their approach and built for a clear purpose.
Stratis: Stratis has been created for offering solutions to companies operating in the financial sector that want to benefit from blockchain technology. It is a Blockchain-As-a-Service platform that allows the creation of private blockchains that can be launched by third-party corporations after customization.
Ark: ARK is a safe platform which is specially designed for mass adoption with its features of adaptability, flexibility, and scalability. Its blockchain technology is accessible via push button clone-able blockchains.
NEO: NEO supports multiple types of digital assets and is the next generation smart economy platform. It is in the good books of the Chinese government and so often gets referred to as China’s Ethereum.
Waves: advocates itself as a decentralized platform for crowdfunding while enabling you to make your own custom token coins. This means you can launch your own cryptocurrencies to fund your projects without having to go through intensive cryptocurrency coding. WavesDex is a decentralized exchange which is built on the Waves blockchain where the users can trade cryptocurrencies in exchange for Waves.
NEM: Consistently one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap, NEM has a stated goal of a wide distribution model and has introduced new features to blockchain technology such as its proof-of-importance (POI) algorithm, multisignature accounts and encrypted messaging.
As it is a decentralised currency anyone can setup a mining rig to mine Ethereum- whether it is still feasible for the small time miner is questionable. If you’re still keen on getting your hands on Ethereum, the cryptocurrency can be purchased through most large and reputable exchanges. It’s popularity means that not only is it second to Bitcoin most of the time, it’s also used as a medium of exchange on trading platforms, right after Bitcoin.