When you hear of altcoin, which digital asset comes to your mind? For me and for millions of other cryptocurrency enthusiasts, altcoin is synonymous with Ethereum first before others. Not just is ETH the first altcoin, it is the most important and the most valuable. There is no doubt that in terms of adoption, it is going to be the most widely accepted and adopted in the near future.
What is Ethereum?
There are many things that Ethereum is, but among the important features of the digital currency are
Bitcoin enables storing and exchanging value peer-to-peer; Ethereum enables a layer of programming atop that. These decentralized applications (dApps) essentially amount to a “worldwide computer”. This means that you can build a lot of things on the Ethereum blockchain. This has been made possible by its smart contract chain ERC-20 and ERC-721.
The engine that powers smart contracts
Smart contracts need no third party to enforce, self-executing when conditions coded into the contract occur without risk of fraud, censorship, or third-party interference. This means that if the contract has been mapped, it executes without interference from any of the parties involved. This makes smart contracts reliable and trusted. In fact, it is poised to change the way businesses and agreements are executed.
The Basis for DeFi protocols and NFTs
Ethereum not only powers decentralized swapping and lending applications, but it also allows for the creation of non-fungible tokens, unique digital assets that represent works of art and other real-world items. If you’ve been in the crypto circle for a period of time, you would know that decentralized finance is changing the way people see money.
Smart contracts now enable lending and borrowing to be automated to the extent that the lender and borrower need not worry that the terms would need to be updated down the line. De-fi platforms usually give out loans in popular assets such as USD, Bitcoin and Ethereum, The borrower can secure their borrowings in altcoins that are not as popular.
The second largest cryptocurrency
ETH is second only to Bitcoin. The coin has a market capitalization of $426 billion. Daily trading volume as at the time of filing this report is above $13 billion, while the coin has a circulating supply of $117 million.
Ether is presently trading above $3,600. Currency or unit of exchange with its native token, Ether, or ETH.
Use cases of Ethereum
There are many application that are built on the Ethereum network. These are decentralized applications. There are many more that can be built on the platform. Some of these are the reason why Ether, the internal currency of Ethereum will continue to be valuable over time. Here are some of the use cases of Ethereum:
Designed to support smart contracts
Ethereum is the most used blockchain protocol for the building of decentralized applications and smart contracts. These contracts are permissionless, effectively eliminating the need for trust. This is why they’re described as trustless.
An NFT Platform
If you’re aware of the rise in the demand for uniquely peculiar tokens built on blockchain, you may not be aware that these tokens were originally built on Ethereum. In fact, the 2017 network clog that made people aware of the limitation of the Ethereum proof-of-work consensus protocol was the result of a surge in the demand of a non-fungible token known as Crypto Kitties.
The demand for NFTs is not abating. In fact, hundreds of NFTs are created every month with some selling thousands of these digital assets worth millions of dollars. In fact, NFT platforms are the new playground of millionaires who are attracted to the prospect of owning digital collectibles that represent works of arts.
A foundation for new cryptocurrencies
No blockchain network has contributed to the development of new cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. The platform was designed to facilitate not just the building of decentralized applications (dApps), other projects can be built on the network, thereby aiding in the proliferation of coins within the cryptocurrency sphere.
Why is ETH getting attention?
From artist Beeple’s historic $69 million sale to Sotheby’s recently auctioning off CryptoPunks, NFTs are clearly having a moment. And the biggest NFTs “live” on the Ethereum blockchain.
Long Awaited Upgrade
Scheduled for 2022, the Ethereum 2.0 upgrade aims to improve how Ethereum secures its network and how it handles data, adopting a technology that speeds up transactions by breaking them into smaller parts. This will combat the current challenge of ETH’s notoriously high transaction fees.
History of Ethereum
Conceived in 2013 by Russian Canadian engineer Vitalik Buterin. A co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine, Buterin envisioned using blockchain technology for uses beyond money and set out to create a technology that could support additional applications such as attaching equities, property, or art to a blockchain. The language behind the Ethereum code is Solidity.
ADA Creator Charles Hoskinson was an early contributor to Ethereum. We can also see the effects of the digital currency in the development of the Cardano platform as a future player in the smart contract sector of the cryptosphere.
The Impact of Ethereum On The Cryptosphere
The building of on-chain networks, NFTs, De-Fi and smart contracts were made possible due to the peculiarity of the blockchain platform. The platform was responsible for increased awareness and adoption of cryptocurrencies due to its wide use cases. There is no doubt that the relevance of the Etherum network is in ascendancy. This will also have massive impact on the value of the cryptocurrency. Not just is Ethereum the next digital asset after Bitcoin in terms of value, it has the widest application which will continue to impact positively on the price of the coin.