Date
17 November 2017
At this writing (Aug. 7), Ethereum is worth US$259.97, with a 3,035 percent year-to-date increase and a market capitalization of US$24.34 billion. Photo: Reuters
At this writing (Aug. 7), Ethereum is worth US$259.97, with a 3,035 percent year-to-date increase and a market capitalization of US$24.34 billion. Photo: Reuters

A guide to Ethereum, the digital currency of the moment

What is Ether?

Ether is the value token in use on the Ethereum network. It is listed in a digital currency exchange under the code ETH and used to pay for transaction fees and computational services on the Ethereum network.

Since its launch in June 2015, Ether price has been highly volatile, accelerating from US$10 in January to over US$391 in June. But Ether, like Bitcoin also experienced several dips, including a 25 percent crash in just 24 hours and a flash crash in which the price plummeted to just 10 cents in seconds in June. On At this writing (Aug. 7), it is worth US$259.97, with a 3,035 percent year-to-date increase and a market capitalization of US$24.34 billion, according to Coindesk.com

What is Ethereum?

As the application platform powered by Ether, Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring a “smart contract” function – computer algorithms which execute themselves. It is also a giant set of accounts and a record of the transactions between them. Ethereum was originally conceived by Russian developer Vitalik Buterin in late 2013.

How is Ethereum different from Bitcoin?

Both Ethereum and Bitcoin are exchanged by using blockchain technology, and both share the advantages of cryptocurrencies. For instance, money can be sent anywhere in the world at any time, with no transaction cost. No middlemen or financial institutions needed in the transaction, and no person or institution can stop a particular transaction.

While Bitcoin was designed to act as a secure peer-to-peer decentralized payment system, Ethereum was designed more than that, it is built to provide the ability to program different types of smart contract within the network. Theoretically, you can write smart contract of all the business processes and run them on the Ethereum blockchain. As more and more smart contracts and decentralized applications are built, Ethereum’s popularity and market value will increase.

Why is Ethereum so hot?

The initial coin offering (ICO) is one of the factors fueling the recent hype around Ethereum. It is a cross between crowdfunding and securities offering. Startups have been building applications on Ethereum to raise millions of dollars using the Ether currency. The software standard within Ethereum’s protocol made it relatively easy for developers to create their own specialized digital token. They generally collected Ether from investors and exchanged them for units of their own token, which have created a surge of demand for Ether.

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Since its launch in June 2015, Ether price has been highly volatile, accelerating from US$10 in January to over US$391 in June. Photo: Cointelegraph


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