With the growing popularity of the blockchains, new cryptocurrencies are popping up as well as companies and organisations that are looking for other
With the growing popularity of the blockchains, new cryptocurrencies are popping up as well as companies and organisations that are looking for other ways they can use the technology. Payments, sharing of information, protection of documents and personal data or contracts verification are just a few of the services that blockchain can provide. But there is one project called Ethereum that is a little bit more ambitious than that and is trying to combine all these features and many others into one single platform.
The whole idea behind Ethereum initially comes from Vitalik Buterin who believes that the blockchain technology can offer endless possibilities rather than just several specific applications. He developed a new platform with more complex and more general scripting language that enables a far wider variety of uses of the technology than only financial transactions. After formulating the principles of the project, Ethereum was formed and announced in late January 2014. The needed financing for the development of Ethereum was provided by an online crowd sale during July–August 2014 where people bought the digital token Ether with Bitcoins. On 30 July 2015, the first version of Ethereum was finally launched.
At the beginning of 2016 Ethereum was already yielding huge success. Currently, thousands of people are building and running distributed applications on the platform. One can create its own virtual organisation or community, crowdfund its products, design a new cryptocurrency or put into practice any original idea that has still not been tested. In other words, any innovative tool can use Ethereum as the basis of its realisation. Furthermore, numerous businesses are developing software on Ethereum including corporations like Microsoft, IBM, and JPMorgan Chase. What is more, the Ether that is not only used to run applications inside the Ethereum but also, as any other cryptocurrency, to serve for money transfers, has become number two behind bitcoin in terms of total transactions and market capitalization.
In fact, this decentralised application platform is far more ambitious than it seems to be. Two of the co-founders of Ethereum – Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin aim at their software becoming the base of a new generation 3.0 world wide web which will replace the client-server network with a fully peer-to-peer one. This kind of anarchical and idealistic view of the future of the internet would change its whole system hopefully making it more transparent and secure. Nevertheless, one should not forget that Ethereum is still an experiment whose destiny is difficult to predict. It may become a complete revolution or end up as a total failure.