Why Ethereum is the Future of Blockchain
The platform that hosts the most blockchain startups and attracts the most developers, wins.
The blockchain platform with the most utility, developers and the dApp framework that is the most scalable, will win and take over the mantle from Bitcoin, as the heir apparent of blockchain innovation.
It would be hard to argue that in 2018, that’s not Ethereum. Its spawned countless ICOs, and has the most developers by far globally working on it. As of October 2017, according to CNBC it had at least 35,000 developers. In 2018, some believe that number is closer now to 200,000. That is according to Kevin Rooke, a cryptocurrency researcher and YouTuber.
Ethereum: the Handmaid of Decentralization
Few blockchain projects embody the spirit of decentralization as soundly as Ethereum and Vitalik Buterin. Ethereum is built on a newer generation of blockchain technology and is optimized for software engineers. With advances in sharding and plasma it has a decent chance of overcoming its scalability issues sooner rather than later.
A reported 94 out of the top 100 blockchain projects have launched on top of the Ethereum network. Ethereum as of mid 2018 has a market cap of $52.3 billion USD, but that doesn’t properly show its ubiquity as the leading dApp platform for developers and blockchain startups.
The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. — Satoshi Nakamoto
Ethereum: the Blockchain Platform Devs Want to Work On
Ethereum’s commitment to a scaling strategy and decentralization, likely most resonates with developers as the first-mover dApp platform of choice. While Bitcoin over the last decade evolved into a digital store of value, it didn’t scale in terms of a payments option for various reasons.
However Ethereum has increasingly established itself as the leading decentralized application platform. A landscape of competitors has emerged but without posing any immediate threats to changing this, which include among others: EOS, NEO, Cardano, Stellar, Qtum, ICON and now likely Tron have gained significant market valuation and presence in the global market, with their focus set on decentralized applications.
Who will blockchain startups and developers trust?
The list of those who are on Ethereum is too long to list, however even the most pragmatic solutions such as $2 billion China-based IoT blockchain network VeChain, exist on the Ethereum network. Tron is migrating to build a competitor to NEO, often referred to as the “Ethereum of China”. It’s uncertain if Cardano or EOS will have the technical superiority they claim to threaten Ethereum in the immediate future, or the next few years.
Whereas most technologies tend to automate workers on the periphery doing menial tasks, blockchains automate away the center. Instead of putting the taxi driver out of a job, blockchain puts Uber out of a job and lets the taxi drivers work with the customer directly. - Vitalik Buterin
As blockchain evolves, how it intersects with the Cloud, and how smart contracts become implicated in services, accessibility, the sharing economy and decentralization of utilities is collectively relevant. A Swiss town will pilot voting on the blockchain using Ethereum-based IDs. All the applications of blockchain on our lives isn’t even fundamentally clear yet, but adoption has accelerated and is accelerating.
With it, the interest of software engineers, developers and coders is also at an all-time high. If hacks and BTC manipulation probes devalues Bitcoin’s price, Ethereum is free from being such a pioneer, it can be a first-mover at the intersection of enterprise and decentralization and blockchain startups. While ICO regulatory pressure has decreased their total funding in 2018, if we discount EOS and Telegram which are basically anomalies, Ethereum is pivoting to more practical use-cases.
Blockchain may not be the future of business quite like artificial intelligence and the cloud are, but it’s certainly becoming an important protocol with added ROI and obvious benefits.
In the concepts of open-source projects and decentralization, developers are attracted to the dynamic innovation of the space. Even Wall Street is seeing an exodus of financial talent teaming up with software engineering to start new exciting projects. It’s not because of crypto, it’s largely because of Ethereum.
If ICOs fueled crypto hype in 2017, enterprise adoption of blockchain is changing how we collectively see blockchain tech in 2018. Blockchain is now ahead of quantum computing and super-computing in how this nascent tech is impacting innovation and the variety of new blockchain startups is astounding.
The nature of Bitcoin is such that once version 0.1 was released, the core design was set in stone for the rest of its lifetime. — Satoshi Nakaomoto
While Bitcoin remains somewhat of a relic and a symbol, Ethereum is dynamic and must evolve to meet the demands of the times and as the dApp platform that’s the current leader.
Ideology and Trust Matters to Developers
Vitalik Buterin is also a respected figure whose clear idealism contrats much of the profiteering vibe of other crypto projects and altcoins. Ethereum doesn’t feel like a Microsoft of a Facebook, because of Vitalik’s youth and vision.
If we look at Google trends, and eliminate the big three of San Francisco, Seattle and New York, in what U.S. cities do you suppose searches for Ethereum are taking place in the last year?
- San Diego
So basically a who is where of where young developers are at. That some of the most talented developers and entrepreneurs are attracted to the blockchain space is exciting. However globally, China by far rules the number of Ethereum searches. You must therefore conclude that a lot of important work of blockchain startups is actually occuring in China.
In a world of increasing complexity, the blockchain’s biggest unique value proposition may be how to handle and solve the problem of trust, accountability and security at the intersection of myriad industries and their sub-verticals. Let’s be realistic, these issues are intensifying and have a nearly universal application across value chains.
As society becomes more and more complex, cheating will in many ways become progressively easier and easier to do and harder to police or even understand. — Vitalik Buterin
Young people and consumers and citizens require another level of trust in the system, in apps, in services, in government, in politics, in corporate sustainability. Greater decentralization can manifest on the blockchain. Ethereum can be a vehicle for that.
Wealthy societies around the world are facing a growing crisis of confidence in established authorities. Stagnating economies, mounting inequality, political corruption and the increasing monopolization of technology for the benefit of elites have provoked a populist backlash. — Vitalik Buterin.
The biggest company with a crisis of trust Facebook, has even announced that it will integrate blockchain into its business model. Coinbase is scrambling to secure the popularity of its app and to secure its future viability. Stronger Asian led blockchain and crypto solutions are also inevitable. TRON is exceedingly ambitious, and NEO claims many advantages over Ethereum. China can accelerate blockchain projects and will likely do so immensely in the 2020s. However can they attract developers away from Ethereum’s platform?
If Bitcoin is shrouded in controversy, Ethereum is bathed in possibility. In a way they are the Yin and Yang of cryptocurrencies. On a Web 3.0 running smart contracts with 5G, what will be possible? In an IoT of everything, what kinds of blockchain systems will be in place? We are about to find out.