Everything You Need to Know About Ethereum

Ethereum is a popular blockchain-based cryptocurrency, and if you’re debating on how to get involved, this guide is for you. We have another guide on the basics of cryptocurrency to check out if you’re new to industry as a whole. This guide is specifically geared toward ethereum.

What Is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a blockchain concept created by Tialik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di loriao, and Charles Hoskinson. It’s an open-source protocol for creating decentralized blockchain applications.

It differs from bitcoin because of the support for more tokenized applications using smart contracts. It supports more than just currencies, and a slew of third-party applications are supporting the ethereum ecosystem. It’s considered one of the fastest blockchains on the current market. Ethereum is notable for being the first blockchain to allow programming of additional functionality. It’s a very flexible network that supports different programmable protocols.

Tokens are developed using a variety of ethereum protocols, including the ERC-20 standard (the most popular, encompassing 99% of ethereum tokens), ERC-223, ERC-621, ERC-721, and ERC-827.

These standards are technical functions for how an ethereum token is defined. The nature of Ethereum’s decentralized blockchain and smart contracts attracts a lot of enterprise support, which is discussed in more detail below.

How Much Is Ethereum Worth?

Ethereum has a market cap of $52,250,2003,599, as of March 22, 2018. This is based on a circulating supply of 98,351,103 ETH, with each Ether token being worth $531.26. Over $1.5 billion Ether is traded each day.

The peak price of ethereum so far occurred on January 14, 2018, at a price of $1,389.18.

Ethereum can be mined, although you’ll need a specialized mining rig with a lot of GPU power to do so. However, it’s not economically viable to do so unless you have an enterprise-level server farm.

Who Supports Ethereum?

Ethereum has widespread enterprise support, and there’s even an Enterprise Ethereum Alliance making things easier. The EEA consists of over 150 organizations, including JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Intel, Accenture, BP, Credit Suisse, Cisco Systems, Scotiabank, and MasterCard.

Despite its popularity, companies like Goldman Sachs eschew ethereum to develop their own proprietary blockchains. This is due to the decentralized nature of the network.

In addition to smart contracts and fungible currencies, several non-fungible cryptocollectibles were created on the ethereum blockchain. These include Crypto Kitties, CryptoPunks, and Decentraland. The WePower green energy blockchain is also built on the ethereum network.

Where Can I Buy/Sell Ethereum?

If you want to buy ethereum, you need a digital wallet. You can find one at Ethereum.org. Purchasing coins can be done on most popular crypto exchanges, including CoinBase and Binance.

Ether is one of the most widely accepted cryptocurrencies and can be used to purchase many other cryptos. It’s also relatively easy to exchange into fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar.

Ether is commonly used to participate in new ICOs, although it’s recommended you do so with caution. Some ICOs inevitably end up being scams, and they don’t hold value like ether.

If you have any other questions about ethereum’s cryptocurrency, standards, or blockchain not covered above, please feel free to leave a comment below.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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