Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts. Smart contracts run based on exact predefined parameters. Created in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and launched in 2015, Ethereum has quickly emerged as the world's second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. And with many developers on its network, it is also the largest number of active developers working on any blockchain project.
Here's a brief Ethereum timeline:
In 2013, Vitalik Buterin first conceptualized Ethereum in a white paper with the aim of building decentralized applications (Dapps) to run on top of its blockchain.
By 2014, he had teamed up with Dr. Gavin Wood, and together they started working on the design for what would eventually become Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
Ethereum was formally launched in 2015.
In 2016, Ethereum suffered a hack that led to nearly $50 million worth of ether being stolen from users' wallets. However, because of this hacking incident, additional security measures were implemented in the system and these steps are credited with preventing such an attack from happening again.
As of March 2018, Ethereum had surpassed Bitcoin in the number of active addresses.
In 2020, Paypal announced a collaboration with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
In 2021, Amazon Web Services Announced a managed blockchain service that supports Ethereum.
The Market Cap
Market capitalization or market cap, is the total circulating supply of crypto, multiplied by its current price. Currently, Ethereum has the second-largest market cap out of all cryptocurrencies. In 2018, Ethereum was at about $122 billion while Bitcoin was at $141 billion.
ETH Token Security
While Ethereum smart contracts are extremely customizable, it has also suffered from a couple of hacks because of vulnerabilities.
In 2016, a project called the Decentralized Autonomous Organization was hacked for $50 million. Since the DAO at the time played a major role in the development of the Ethereum platform, the loss led to a massive collapse in Ethereum's value.
In 2017, a security breach of the Parity Wallet (a wallet for Ethereum) led to over 150,000 ETH (around $30 million at the time) being stolen. A few months later, another $300 million worth of eth was accidentally locked due to a bug. However, these vulnerabilities aren't on the Ethereum blockchain. The problem is in the decentralized applications built on top of it. The switch to a proof of stake consensus mechanism, aside from making Ethereum much more scalable, will help reduce the likelihood of a catastrophic bug or hack (taking control of the majority of the ETH that is currently being staked will be so expensive, a compromise is almost impossible).
How is Ethereum Secure?
At the moment, Ethereum's proof of work consensus mechanism makes it so that the miners themselves secure the network. Since Ethereum is decentralized, there's no central party controlling the network or verifying transactions. So, what makes it so secure? A distributed ledger called "blockchain" records all transactions and keeps them in chronological order. To tamper with any transaction in this chain, an attacker would need to take control of more than half of the world's mining power - which is unlikely given way too many miners are competing for the rewards on offer. Towards the end of 2020, Ethereum Network announced that it will move to a proof of stake consensus mechanism. The principal reason for the upgrade is efficiency and scalability, but security is also a major rationale. A proof of work mechanism renders a blockchain more vulnerable to a 51% attack (i.e., a group of miners hijacking more than half of the blockchain's computing power and taking control of all the transactions and coins). Krypton, an Ethereum-based blockchain, suffered a 51% attack in 2016. Proof of stake mechanism would make a 51% attack on the Ethereum blockchain way more expensive, and therefore less likely.
How Ethereum Smart Contracts Work?
Smart contracts are computer programs that can automatically execute tasks based on the predefined conditions. This is often a contract between two parties, where each party executes the program to meet its side of the agreement. Programmers design and develop these contracts on the Ethereum network. These allow anyone in any part of the world to come up with their own type of smart contracts which can be executed right away with no third-party involvement. Transactions on top of the Ethereum network have to be paid for in "gas", which is a unit of computational power. A transaction sender must specify a gas limit and gas price. A transaction is valid if the sender's ETH balance is greater than the gas limit x gas price. Senders must pay for the transactions before it begins; any excess gas will be reimbursed to the sender after the transaction is executed. If there was not enough gas to execute the entire transaction, the transaction will return to a pre-transaction state, but the gas fees for the transaction will be gone.
How is ETH Different from BTC?
While BTC and ETH are often spoken about in the same breath, and more often than not, ETH exchange rate features a side-by-side conversion with BTC, these two coins have stark differences. Here are some of the most poignant ETH and BTC differences:
The ETH ledger contains transactions that can serve multiple purposes, while BTC's is more of a ledger containing only notes about the transactions.
ETH was designed to be a platform, while BTC was designed to be an alternative currency and as a store of value.
There isn't a limit in ETH supply. BTC limit, on the other hand, is 21 million BTC.
Can Ethereum Reach $10000?
Ethereum's current price is a long way away from $10,000. Is it possible for Ethereum's prices to reach and surpass the coveted $10,000? It's easy to say yes, especially if one considers all of the aspects that make Ethereum uniquely effective. Ethereum has the first mover advantage. Ethereum also boasts the most developers building on its ecosystem. However, Ethereum's potential will be sharply affected by the cryptocurrency sphere as a whole. Every day, coins that seek to solve Ethereum's issues (such as its controversially outrageous gas prices and slow transaction speeds), are being released into the public. The cryptocurrency sphere is changing at a breakneck speed, and whether or not Ethereum survives depends on how quickly it adapts and innovates.
Where to Buy Ethereum Crypto in AU?
Australians can buy and sell Ethereum in online exchanges. Exchanges allow users to fund their accounts through bank transfers (some even allow funding via Paypal). If you're thinking of buying and trading Ethereum, always remember to do your due diligence first. You can refer to our easy-to-use crypto tracker (it conveniently displays ETH price in AUD and in other currencies) before making any definitive decisions.
Why Buy ETH Cryptocurrency?
Ethereum is the world's second largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, and the Ethereum network boasts the largest number of developers building and innovating on top of the platform. The shift to a proof of stake mechanism is expecFted to improve the platform's transaction speed, and allow it to scale to all new highs. Whether this optimistic prediction comes to fruition or not, only time will tell. Thinking about buying ETH? Stay tuned to The TopCoins for real-time ETH to AUD rates, and to learn more about the intricacies of investing in ETH and other altcoins.
Can I Stake Ethereum?
Yes. Staked ETH are locked, meaning it can't be traded. To be a validator, one would need to stake at least 32 ETH. Don't have 32 ETH? It's possible to stake through a stake pool.
Are Ethereum Tokens a Good Investment?
The transition to Ethereum 2.0 is well underway, but the answer to this question will ultimately be determined by how smooth the transition will be from the Proof of Work to a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism. This Ethereum's outrageous gas fees also puts the platform's usability under scrutiny -- some people reported a $40 fee for transactions. However, Ethereum remains nestled comfortably in the #2 spot, reflecting the trust of bullish holders.
Can I Buy ETH with Paypal?
Yes. As of writing, you can buy, hold, and sell Ethereum with Paypal. It's as simple as clicking "Crypto" from Paypal's user-friendly dashboard and clicking Buy. However, this feature is only available to users in the US.
How Can I Buy ETH with a Credit Card?
Australians can buy and sell ETH in online exchanges. Exchanges allow users to fund their accounts through bank transfers (some even funding via Paypal). If you're thinking of buying and trading ETH, always remember to do your due diligence first. You can refer to our easy-to-use crypto tracker to check ethereum value before making any definitive decisions.