The original whitepaper for Ethereum was published in 2013 by a 19-year old Russian-Canadian programmer named Vitalik Buterin. The Ethereum project was publicly announced in 2014, and a crowd sale of Ethereum’s cryptocurrency token, “Ether” was created. When Ethereum was created, the price of one Ether token was next to nothing. Now, however, one Ether token is worth roughly $475 dollars (6/26/2018). Ethereum has risen to become the second largest cryptocurrency by overall market capitalization.
Like Bitcoin, Ethereum uses blockchain technology to provide for an open source ledger in which users can make anonymous cryptographic transactions. Ethereum is very similar to Bitcoin. However, unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum was specifically created to facilitate the so-called, “smart contracts,” and to be a platform for DApps (decentralized applications) and ICOs (initial coin offerings) to run on. So, beyond just being a great cryptocurrency, Ethereum is something of a hub for innovation and a platform for many different companies to launch all sorts of projects.
Many people believe that Ethereum’s underlying technology is superior to Bitcoin’s and that it could potentially overtake Bitcoin one day in terms of overall market cap. However, unlike Bitcoin, which has a hard cap on its supply at 21 million coins, Ethereum does not have a hard cap. This is a major difference between the two coins. This makes Bitcoin significantly more rare than Ethereum. Right now, the circulating supply of Ethereum is roughly 100 million tokens, whereas the circulating supply of Bitcoin is only about 17 million tokens.
Ethereum Enterprise Alliance
One reason why Ethereum is exciting both as a project and as an investment is because of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance. The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance is a network that connects Fortune 500 companies, startups, academics, and technology vendors with Ethereum subject matter experts. The goal of this alliance is to make it possible for businesses and other entities to create excellent apps for the Ethereum blockchain. The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance makes it much easier for collaboration to occur, which helps to speed up software creation. Ethereum’s smart contract capabilities make it very appealing for many businesses to build software that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. Members of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance include Deloitte, Bancor, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Microsoft, and Mastercard. There are hundreds of companies and organizations that are a part of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance.
It is very possible that the price of Ethereum could rise significantly in 2018 and in 2019. This is because more and more business are realizing the value that smart contracts and decentralized applications can have. Also, increasing numbers of ICOs are occurring every year, and many of these ICOs are run on the Ethereum blockchain. This adds to Ethereum’s value in the cryptocurrency market.
However, despite the fact that Ethereum has a lot of promise, it will still have to deal with the volatility that is normal for the cryptocurrency industry, and the fact that several other blockchains are competing fiercely with it to be the top DApp/smart contract/ICO launching platform. Examples of such blockchains include NEO and Stellar Lumens. However, for the moment, Ethereum is the top dog in terms of smart contract platforms, and it is very likely that it could stay that way for some time. Overall, the outlook for Ethereum is very positive.