Ethereum is a blockchain platform that allows developers to create decentralized apps that run on the blockchain. Its core characteristic of being able to execute smart contracts gives the protocol enormous potential for the blockchain ecosystem. Ethereum’s sophisticated smart contract capability has opened up a world of possibilities for developers wishing to create decentralized apps in so many industries.
If you’re new to Ethereum, it might be confusing at first, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This article will explain what Ethereum is, how it works, its benefits and drawbacks, and how to buy its native token. Keep reading if you’re curious about Ethereum.
An Overview of Ethereum
Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain platform with smart contract functionalities. The platform has a native cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH), which is used to pay for any activity on the network.
The primary purpose of Ethereum is that it serves as a platform where developers can build decentralized applications with the help of smart contracts. Smart contracts are applications that run on their own based on the instructions it is given. It removes the need for a third party or a middleman. Smart contracts give Ethereum the ability to securely handle any type of transaction.
Vitalik Buterin, a programmer and co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine, published a whitepaper in November 2013 talking about a blockchain protocol that is not limited to just being a payment system but also a platform for developers to build decentralized applications.
In 2015, Vitalik Buterin and Joe Lubin, founders of the blockchain software company ConsenSys launched Ethereum. When Ethereum was launched, the price of Ether (ETH) was just $0.311. But its price has now risen tremendously. In 2016, $50 million in Ether was stolen by an anonymous hacker which resulted in questions about the platform’s security. This resulted in a split within the Ethereum community, with some developers creating a fork of Ethereum, called Ethereum Classic (ETC).
Difference Between Ethereum and Bitcoin
Ethereum builds on Bitcoin’s innovation, however, it has major differences from Bitcoin. Here are some of the differences between Ethereum and Bitcoin.
- Bitcoin is only a payment network, but Ethereum is more than just a means to make peer-to-peer transactions. Ethereum allows developers to build decentralized applications and perform other transactions with the aid of a smart contract.
- Bitcoin uses a Proof-of-work consensus algorithm while Ethereum uses a Proof-of-stake algorithm. In addition, the average block time for Ethereum is significantly less than Bitcoin’s. It takes 12 seconds for a single block to be created in Ethereum but 10 minutes for Bitcoin.
- The maximum number of bitcoins that can enter circulation is 21 million while the amount of ETH that can be created is unlimited, although the amount of ether that can be minted each year is limited by the time it takes to process a block of ETH. The number of Ethereum coins currently in circulation is more than 122 million.
- Another difference is that they are based on different security protocols. Ethereum uses a “proof of stake” system as opposed to the “proof of work” system used by Bitcoin.
Pros and Cons of Ethereum
As with any technology, there are pros and cons to using Ethereum.
One major advantage of the Ethereum protocol is its capacity to allow developers to build decentralized applications on the platform. It has opened the blockchain world to a host of applications that provide real-time solutions to issues in both the blockchain ecosystem and the economy at large. The platform is also user-friendly for beginners. There are several tools accessible to developers who wish to build on the platform.
In addition, the decentralized nature of the Ethereum network eliminates the need for an intermediary and enhances the security of transactions. Smart contracts create a trustless system where users can conduct transactions privately and securely.
Ethereum also has its drawbacks and one major issue with Ethereum is the high gas fees. Gas fees for transactions on the Ethereum network are influenced by several factors such as the complexity of the transaction and the level of demand on the network at the time the transaction is carried out.
When there is severe network congestion, gas fees can be high and make transactions quite impossible. One could pay a gas fee of more than $50 for a $10 transaction and it poses a problem for peer-to-peer transactions. This also poses a problem for developers as applications may become impossible or uneconomical to use, restricting their acceptance and operation.
Although the Ethereum network has made successful upgrades to tackle the issues of scalability and high gas fees, the problem still lingers on the network.
How to Buy Ether
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to buy Ether (ETH).
- Create an Account on An Exchange
You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies on a crypto exchange. Most crypto exchanges allow you to exchange your fiat currency for cryptocurrencies. Research which crypto exchange supports your preferred deposit method. Sign up and create an account on such an exchange.
- Fund Your Account
On your account, click on the buy or deposit method and choose how you want to fund your account. You can use a credit card, bank deposit, or deposit through a third-party platform.
- Buy Ethereum
Depending on the platform, purchase Ether, symbolized by the ticker, ETH. Input how much ETH you want to buy. You can choose to buy a full coin or a fraction of one, depending on the amount you are willing to invest.
- Store Ethereum
After purchasing your crypto, the next thing to consider is how to store it. By default, every exchange allows you to store your cryptos in it. However, if you want to go for a safer option, you can move your crypto to a cold wallet.
Is Ethereum a Good Investment?
Just like every other venture, investing in Ethereum comes with certain risks and uncertainties. The crypto market is highly volatile as the price of ETH is dependent on multiple factors. However, Ethereum has numerous attractive characteristics that make it a potentially worthwhile investment. Its vibrant developer community, cutting-edge technology, and diverse set of applications make it a viable platform with great long-term promise.
Before investing in Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency, always make adequate research and invest only what you can afford to lose. You can also invest in ETH using the dollar cost average method.
With its smart contract capability, Ethereum has made important contributions to the blockchain sector. This has created new opportunities for decentralized applications ranging from decentralized finance (DeFi) to supply chain management.
As the world becomes more digital, there is a growing demand for decentralized systems that guarantee security, transparency, and accountability. Because it provides a solid framework for the creation of decentralized apps, Ethereum has the potential to be a prominent player in this sector.
In the future, Ethereum is positioned to continue developing and pushing the boundaries of what blockchain technology can accomplish. Its development community is always trying to improve its scalability, security, and usability, which will be important for its long-term acceptance and success.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, and Google News