For a while now, cryptocurrency has always been synonymous to Bitcoin. The first of its kind, its release in 2009 laid the groundwork that eventually
For a while now, cryptocurrency has always been synonymous to Bitcoin. The first of its kind, its release in 2009 laid the groundwork that eventually gave birth to other types of cryptocurrency. While Bitcoin is still safely ensconced as the foremost, the second most prevalent type, Ethereum, is not too far behind.
Since it went live in 2015, Ethereum has grown leaps and bounds. It is now valued at over $100 per token on the markets, a far cry from the $8 that it was trading just at the start of this year. Mined Ether’s value has also jumped by as much as 900% this year.
Furthermore, as a further move to legitimize Ethereum, the New York Department of Fiscal Services has approved Ethereum trading. It also designated ether tokens as officially a regulated currency. As a further boon, JPMorgan and Microsoft have both expressed interest in investing.
However, despite all this accolade, this blockchain technology is still largely unknown. To help you get acclimated, we’ve listed basic info that you need to know about this rising cryptocurrency.
- Digital money might not be the only endgame
Having a much more vibrant and active developer community, Ethereum could be used to organize communication between individuals rather than rely on the “sharing economy” espoused by tech giants such as Airbnb and Uber.
The near future could also see blockchain users be connected directly with the providers. These days, the middleman apps are the one doing this service while at the same time, asking a fee from the providers and collecting private data from the users.
To make this a reality, Ethereum needs first to seriously expand its userbase. Right now, the community is still small, numbering in the tens of thousands compared to the 2.9-5.8 million users of cryptocurrency all put together.
- Bitcoin exchanges still sell ether tokens even though Ethereum has its own coins
The immense size of Bitcoin means that right now, it is far easier to purchase things or services with Bitcoin than it is with ether tokens. However, this doesn’t mean that the two are competitors. Rather, Bitcoin and Ethereum complement each other. For example, tokens and US dollars are traded in Bitcoin exchanges like Bitfinex, Coinbase, Gemini, and Kraken.
Also, the Bitcoin blockchain network only tracks ownership of, well, bitcoin. On the other hand, the people who use Ethereum create custom crowdfunding platforms, their own cryptocurrencies, and even other online organizations that are autonomous in nature.
- As the second most popular cryptocurrency, it’s here to stay
The fact that Ethereum is still around and has placed second to Bitcoin is a testament to the tenacity and skill of the community that supports it. Even though Bitcoin is supported by as much as 98% of the cryptocurrency networks and vendors whereas only 33% of those accommodate other tokens.
As the second most popular currency for blockchain transactions, it is thus no wonder that a study by Cambridge University states that during the first two months of 2017, the Ethereum network was showered with 47,790 daily transactions.
Also, the same study referenced that right now, around 1,875 people are working full-time in the cryptocurrency industry. This number contains Ethereum enthusiasts and developers who work for application platforms running on the Ethereum blockchain such as Swarm City (SWT).
This gives credence to the hope that with the help of the Ethereum community, the ratio that shows Bitcoin being so much ahead of everyone else will eventually change in the future.
Next in Line
Right now, all the heirs of cryptocurrency are on the ascendant, not just the fabled apple of the eye Bitcoin. For the second most popular cryptocurrency, this is a challenge and validation at the same time. The challenge to expand further and eventually oust the meddlesome middleman and validation for the hard work of the community to further improve Ethereum.