In 2013, a man named James Howells, an IT engineer based in Wales, wanted help from the city to excavate a landfill. While it seems outlandish, the city eventually gave in to his requests when they got the context of his dilemma. James had thrown out, a hard drive accidentally while clearing out his home. Nothing special about the hard drive except for a peculiar file. A file that contained 7500 Bitcoins! Only after the boom of bitcoin, the then 35-year-old engineer realized his 450 million dollar mistake!
As the world is being taken over by the next big thing- Cryptocurrency, masses flock into the market in search of cryptos that can provide good value to their portfolios. However, in a world where cryptocurrency is taken as synonymous with Bitcoin, few cryptocurrencies have managed to get past the shadow of the latter. On the helm of such cryptos is Ether, better known by the name of the platform in which it acts as the native token for Ethereum Network, which has been gaining the most traction over the recent years.
The creation of ethereum simply proves the need for the same. The creator of Ethereum -Vitalik Buterin, an avid player of the video game World of Warcraft, was in despair as he noticed that developers of the aforementioned game had apparently weakened his “beloved” character. He realized the horrors of centralized services and decided to come up with a solution. Thus in 2015, the 21-year-old launched the answer to his quandary, The Ethereum Network.
Let us try to understand what the whole fuss is about
What is ether or ETH?
Ether (ETH) is the cryptocurrency used to incentivize the working of one of the biggest DECENTRALISED OPEN SOURCE BLOCKCHAIN SYSTEM i.e. Ethereum Network
Let’s break the big words to get a better understanding of it-
Decentralised simply means without an authoritative figure For eg. Instagram, a social media platform used rather widely is owned by Facebook; meaning it has access to all the information and has the capacity to share the details, to not share it, change features, or even take the whole application down. When decentralized, the authority given to a certain entity is taken out of the equation. So how does it function? That is where smart contracts come into play. Smart contracts, simply put are codes that have a predetermined function. This ensures that there is no interference in a function once it is deployed, even by the creators of the code themselves.
Open source refers to transparency, accessibility to all, which means anyone from anywhere in the world can access and view every single transaction made on the Ethereum Network
Blockchain System is a ledger that stores all the data regarding every transaction ever made on the network in the form of interconnected blocks virtually.
So now that we have an idea of what it means, let’s understand the use case for Ethereum.
Unlike bitcoin, the ethereum blockchain can be used for more than just processing payments and sending currency. The main target of the network is to facilitate a platform where anyone can host DAPPS or Decentralised Applications.
The two most viable and widely used categories in these are DeFi and NFT platforms. DeFi or Decentralized Finance simplified, connotes two people making monetary transactions without an administrative figure like a bank. NFTs or Non Fungible Tokens means owning any piece of art created virtually. To be more specific, a virtual piece of art can simply be copied across several media outlets; however, owning the original NFT publicly means ultimate ownership over the artwork. As it does not provide any intrinsic value, the future of NFTs is unknown territory to everyone. However, the adoption of both Defi protocols like AAVE, UNISWAP, and NFT platforms like AXIE infinity, DECENTRALAND, etc are increasing drastically.
While several other platforms are starting to make a statement by trying to be a better, more scalable option of Ethereum like Polkadot and Cardano, we are yet to see how any of these platforms manage to step up to the level of Ethereum which is being said to surpass even bitcoin in the coming years.
A majority of citizenry across the world is starting to realize the potential value of decentralization and is gearing up for a currency revolution. Will ethereal be a front runner in the race to being the top cryptocurrency and at some point, the most valued form of value? Only time will tell.