On July 30, 2015, a former co-founder of a Bitcoin magazine, Vitalik Buterin, pioneered another decentralized system called Ethereum. Ethereum is built upon the success of Bitcoin. However, Ethereum goes beyond revolutionizing the financial system but also other forms of digital assets and protocols. It aims to decentralize all forms of digital activities and services that are controlled by a third-party. Ether (ETH) is Ethereum’s digital currency.
Ethereum has a programmable platform in the sense that it allows its users to write its programs using the platform’s programming language known as Solidity on a “If-This-Then-That” (IFFT) logic. Decentralized apps (Dapps) and smart contracts are written using Solidity. Although Ethereum is open-source, the programs run on the platform are decentralized. In other words, even the users who create the programs on Ethereum do not have any control over their operations. There are a set of written codes in the programs that run automatically (without the need for human assistance). However, these codes are strict and, therefore, difficult to re-write or overwrite them. This could either be a pro or a con for any Ethereum user depending on the context.
Ether (ETH) is the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world with a market cap of over $200 billion. As of date, the price of 1 ETH is $1,747.59. There are over 115 million ETH in circulation as of date of writing. Unlike Bitcoin, Ether is not finite in supply. In addition, Ethereum’s blockchain hosts many different alt coins on its platform through an upgrade feature called the Ethereum Request for Comment 20 (ERC-20). Alt coins which are ECR-20 standard compliant are regarded as Tokens.
Ether is accepted as a medium of exchange almost everywhere major cryptocurrencies are. Some countries that accept cryptocurrencies include the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, and Malta among many others.