Ethereum is a cryptocurrency that utilizes the Proof of Work security mechanism. In this system, a network of participants creates a blockchain and uses computing power and data power to secure it. These participants are called miners or nodes. Nodes are the entities that create and store the history of data on the blockchain. In contrast, extractors secure the blockchain with computing power and do not create the history.
The Ethereum system was initially conceptualized in a white paper published in 2013 by 19-year-old Vitalik Buterin. Many within the crypto community deemed Buterin a genius for coming up with such a unique idea. He later assembled a team of talented developers to implement his vision. These individuals included Joe Lubin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, and Gavin Wood.
Ethereum is used for decentralized finance, opening up banking services to anyone with an internet connection. People can invest in the currency or use it as collateral for loans. It also helps with cargo tracking, preventing misplaced or counterfeit goods. In addition, it acts as a provenance framework for assets, providing a means of tracing their origins.
The Ethereum blockchain is programmable, allowing developers to develop apps for the network. These apps can store data and control what other apps can do. Since there are no limitations on what an application can do, the Ethereum network has been a platform for great innovation. In a sense, Ethereum is like a social network or an online marketplace for apps and financial services. It is a decentralized system that respects privacy.
Ethereum has had a great run in 2017-2018. Many new cryptocurrencies were created on the Ethereum blockchain, allowing it to reach global recognition. During that period, several large companies started considering using the Ethereum platform for business. Today, it is one of the most popular platforms for creators and is the largest cryptocurrency in the world.
Ethereum is currently in the middle of several upgrades to its blockchain. The first stage of these updates, known as “The Merge,” is aimed at transitioning from the current Proof of Work (PoW) verification model to a proof of stake (POS) model. The next stage, called “Shanghai,” is expected to take place six months after the Merge. However, the updates have been delayed in the past.
The Ethereum currency is available on most cryptocurrency exchanges, and can also be purchased through a payment app. Currently, Ethereum is one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, and is widely available on most major platforms. Popular crypto exchanges include Coinbase and Gemini. In addition, some stock brokers are also selling select cryptocurrencies, including Robinhood.