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What is Ethereum?


With its use in the development of decentralized and permissionless blockchain-based applications such as financial contracts and payment instruments, Ethereum is undoubtedly a prominent infrastructure in the digital currency industry.

The Ethereum blockchain is powered by Ether with the ticker symbol ‘ETH’. The token serves as the platform’s official currency. It is responsible for ensuring the execution of smart contracts. 

Ethereum has found uses in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), an innovation that uses emerging technology to eliminate intermediaries in financial transactions. In contrast with centralized finance where money is held by banks whose ultimate aim is to be profitable, the decentralized economy that Ethereum pioneered works such that every member of a network is duly incentivized.

As an example, consider someone who buys chocolate using an online platform via a credit card. Lots of actors are involved and they include merchants, banks, and credit card companies.

All the actors in this process get payment for their services and that is what decentralized finance seeks to eliminate by allowing merchants and businesses to conduct financial transactions with the use of the latest technology through an infrastructure provided by protocols like ETH.

Although the innovations emanating from Ethereum are amazing, the blockchain is now faced with congestion problems which are causing an almost uncontrollable spike in transaction fees in some cases. Ethereum understands its challenges and is working hard to solve them on a case-by-case basis making it one of the most flexible blockchain networks available today.

Ethereum’s Origin and Historical Base

Ethereum was developed 7 years ago by Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-born Canadian programmer, and Joseph Lubin, a Canadian-American entrepreneur.

Ethereum trails Bitcoin (BTC) in terms of market capitalization. Bitcoin, a decentralized money, is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. Developers were forced to make a decision between upgrading Bitcoin and creating something entirely new, and this is how Ethereum came to be created. Smart contracts, developed by Vitalik Buterin, are what separates Ethereum from its predecessor, Bitcoin.

Ethereum, like other blockchain networks, maintains not only the history of transactions but also the code powering decentralized applications.

Technically Ethereum works as an Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and it consists of different languages; C++, Python, Ruby, Go, and Java. JavaScript serves as the pillar of Ethereum as it functions as a runtime environment with script execution.

Solidity is used to write the source code for the Ethereum language, which does not affect its functionality. Based on contracts, Solidity is an advanced programming language. As with JavaScript, this platform’s syntax is easy to understand.

The Solidity programming language has helped to improve the Ethereum Virtual Machine. When writing code, Solidity enforces limitations at compile-time, rather than when it is running, ensuring certain types of programming languages will assist and perform the checks during execution. This makes it possible for new objects to inherit the attributes of existing ones on the platform.

Ethereum Token and its Role in the Cryptosphere

Tokens are a frequent element of decentralized apps built on the Ethereum platform. In order to use the dApps, users must first purchase the dApp’s native token on the exchange. In most ecosystems, a token represents a certain value or represents a specific function. Tokens can perform a wide range of functions in their original environment, and it is important to keep this in mind while evaluating their possible applications.

On the Ethereum blockchain, a token means an array of digital assets such as vouchers, IOUs, and even real-world tangible objects.

In other words, Ethereum tokens are smart contracts that make use of the Ethereum blockchain and the ERC-20 is the most significant Ethereum token development standard that most DApp’s tokens must follow.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), DeFi, Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs), and other significant advancements have piqued the interest of both newcomers to the cryptosphere and seasoned traders alike, thanks to ETH’s capacity to assist the development of these projects. 

It is commonly known that the use of ETH has made online casino withdrawals both faster and more affordable. Crypto casinos are still a relatively new phenomenon, and casual gamers are also looking into cryptocurrency opportunities to add to their portfolios. 

According to crypto exchanges, the ETH supply is dropping. A deflationary ETH coin is one that can fend off the inflationary effects of new token issuance. The idea that ETH would one day be referred to as “ultrasound money” is popular among many of its proponents, and is hinged on the deflationary features introduced through the London Hardfork upgrade introduced back in August last year

When fees for network inclusion are burned, they are removed from the ETH balance, then token deflation becomes inevitable. Additionally, Ethereum is moving from a Proof-of-Work (PoW) mechanism to a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanism dubbed Ethereum 2.0. The transition has been in the works for quite some time, and upon completion, it is fated to solve the woes of the PoW version.

Profiling Ethereum’s Future Prospects

When Ethereum 2.0 becomes finally launched, the PoW consensus model will be finally phased out to allowed for much faster transaction processing times. In conjunction with the fragmented transaction processing system, it is anticipated that the current status quo will be significantly improved. 

With the possibilities of the network extending into Layer 2 (L2), the blockchain’s usability is now more popular. With a more seamless transaction experience and cheaper transaction costs, Layer 2 adds fuel to the DeFi fire. The L2s are used to process a blockchain that is tied to Ethereum (i.e a sidechain.), combining them into more significant deals (or rollup blocks.) 

With the PoS version and the proliferation of L2s, the chances that the Ethereum blockchain will become extremely functional to power the next phase of the Web3.0 and Metaverse push is now very high.

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