What is Ethereum?
If you are not familiar with Ethereum, you are not alone. There are many people who do not understand or know what Ethereum is, but it would definitely be worth your time to learn about it. Ethereum is changing the world, and that is not overstated, Ethereum has the opportunity to be one of the largest technological advances in recent memory.
Ethereum is an open source platform that enables developers to create decentralized applications, also known as DApps.
Currently, most websites and apps are centralized, meaning some person or entity has direct and full control over the application and any data associated with that application.
For example, all Facebook users rely on the Facebook corporation to maintain the platform and also protect your information.
Any content you upload or credit cards you have associated with your account, Facebook keeps this data on a server they have complete ownership and control over.
Ethereum aims to get rid of the traditional client-server relationship and make it so no one party has control or responsibility for maintaining the data and applications. Instead, the Ethereum blockchain will be responsible for this task.
The Ethereum blockchain is also capable of maintaining and executing smart contracts that will be executed based on the prewritten code.
This is a useful advantage of Ethereum in the near and long-term future.
A blockchain in simplified terms is a group of users or “nodes” on the network that work together to maintain the applications and data stored on the public blockchain.
The nodes on the network earn “Ether” a tradable digital currency that can be used to pay for fees on the network or sold outright in exchange for other currencies.
Smart contracts are one of the most promising aspects of the rapidly advancing blockchain technology. Smart contracts have the opportunity to disrupt some of the largest industries in the world including banking, real estate, and even how governments operate.
Smart contracts are essentially a piece of code that is executed automatically based on a predetermined set trigger, or triggers.
The smart contract upon being triggered performs some action.
The benefit of this is that no central authority can alter the contract or reverse it by executing.
Once the contract is active on the blockchain network, someone would need a majority of the network to approve a change to the contract, which would be next to, if not completely impossible.
You can develop any contract that is controlled and executed by computer code, the transfer and recording of real estate transactions, exchange of financial instruments such as equities or options, or even a decentralized voting platform are just a few of the possibilities made available by blockchain technology, and more specifically Ethereum.
Who Created Ethereum?
Ethereum may be a decentralized network with no central commanding authority, but someone had to create the network, it did not create itself, one of the few things Ethereum can’t do.
Vitalik Buterin, a software developer, born in Moscow and raised in Canada, is the mind behind Ethereum.
Vitalik first took an interest in bitcoin when he was just a teenager, by 19 he had already expressed his interest and ideas in relation to Ethereum.
In 2014, Vitalik was awarded the Peter Theil fellowship, and the $100,000 dollars that come with it, to pursue his goals and passion for the decentralized network that had become Ethereum.
With the most recent price of Ether at just over $300 dollars, it is clear that Vitalik has developed a platform that people are interested in, making Ethereum well worth it.
Cons of Ethereum
Ethereum has many advantages but does not come without drawbacks.
The first and foremost concern is that fact that the code of applications and smart contracts running on the Ethereum are written by humans.
If the code has an error in it, it will be very hard to correct.
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Because of the decentralized nature of Ethereum, when there is an error, no single person can go and correct that error quickly. You would need a majority of the network to approve the change.
This is one of the main benefits of blockchain technology and Ethereum, it is very hard for people with malicious intents to alter the code, but people who have a legitimate need to alter it also have the same troubles.
Ride The Wave
Ethereum has the ability to change the world as we know it, and change the way people live their lives.
It has the ability to safeguard data at a much higher rate than the organizations you read about having data breaches, at what seems like an increasing rate.
Ethereum has the ability to disrupt some of the largest multi-trillion dollar industries across the globe and take the power out of the hands of a select few and put the power in the masses.
It would be a good idea to keep updated on Ethereum and applications that are built around the Ethereum blockchain, chances are that eventually it will be thought crazy that there was a time Ethereum was little known, similarly to how everyone in the world knows what the internet is today.
if you’re interested in buying ETH (we also have a guide on buying Ethereum in Canada), have a look on our page on buying cryptocurrencies in Australia.
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Ethereum is of course not the only exciting crypto out there (aside from “the king” BTC or Bitcoin <- check out our guide on how to buy bitcoin), NEO for example, has been dubbed as “the Ethereum of China”… then we’ve got other altcoins like Bitcoin Cash, Monero, IOTA, Verge, Ripple (more centralised), and Litecoin.