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Ethereum was first proposed in 2013 by programmer and writer Vitalik Buterin. To fund development costs, a crowdsale was hosted during a two-month period in 2014 in which the digital currency “Ether” was allocated to user wallets in exchange for a monetary contribution.

It was the first example of an ICO, or initial coin offering, and is a wordplay on the term initial public offering. The Ethereum platform went live in July 2015 with a 13% pre-mine, allowing the public to mine the remaining 87% of all tokens.

According to CoinMarketCap, the value of Ether saw a 662% price increase in 2016 and a 13,000% price increase in 2017.

Ethereum’s platform allows for the initiation of smart contracts. Smart contracts can now be developed and modified through Ethereum’s inclusive Solidity programming language, which is most similar to the JavaScript scripting language. Through these smart contracts, companies can distribute tokens for participation in crowdsales. According to Bitcoinist, the market for these crowdsales surpassed $1 billion in market capitalization by the end of 2017. This is in comparison to the $10 million in market capitalization at the start of the year.

The creation of smart contracts on Ethereum’s platform also allows for inclusive virtual escrow systems.

Things to consider before buying Ethereum

Ethereum’s price increase will depend entirely on the demand for it in the future. Ethereum’s blockchain is widely used to distribute new cryptocurrencies, which many people consider to be a promising factor. Speculators believe businesses will stop looking towards traditional crowdfunding and rather shift towards ICO methods in the near future.

Many startups have shifted their platform to Ethereum and its smart contracts in order to allow a safer and more profitable ecosystem for their applications.

On 18 Oct 2017, J.P. Morgan revealed that a permissioned ledger titled Quorum is in development and is being built off the Ethereum blockchain. The purpose of the ledger is to accelerate processing and payment times in addition to ensure immutable, safe transactions. In our opinion, public adoption is essential for price increase; therefore, a major banking system like J.P. Morgan showing increased interest indicates a promising future for Ether’s price.

Adoption by the public

2016

Solidity marked the first time a team allowed programmers and developers to integrate a blockchain into their systems and applications. They named the process “Decentralizing your application” and then named these newly formed apps dapps.

Ethereum was the second currency added to the most popular US crypto exchange, Coinbase, reaching a partnership on July 21, 2016. This allowed new users to test out Ether with just a debit or credit card.

2017

On October 10, 2017, the Ethereum blockchain executed a hard fork in order to establish faster block confirmation times. The fork was named Byzantium. This was following bitcoin’s August hard fork which created Bitcoin Cash.

The team states their core beliefs in the following excerpt from the Ethereum website:

“The Ethereum Foundation’s mission is to promote and support Ethereum platform and base layer research, development and education to bring decentralized protocols and tools to the world that empower developers to produce next generation decentralized applications (dapps), and together build a more globally accessible, more free and more trustworthy Internet.”

Cryptokitties, the world’s first blockchain game, was launched in early December 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain. The game involves the breeding, buying, selling and nurturing of virtual kittens. These kittens could then be sold from the blockchain in exchange for Ether.

The launch of Cryptokitties was so successful the Ethereum network became congested and sometimes unusable for days at a time. The influx of users created network delays and transaction errors. Although the congestion was viewed by some as negative and unstable, we believe it demonstrates the high demand for such a platform. Some virtual kittens have reportedly been sold for over $240,000, and at the time of this writing, some have even been bid on for higher amounts.

In March 2017, a group of collective blockchain companies, Fortune 500 companies and banking affiliates joined together to start the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance. The alliance has the goal of implementing the Ethereum blockchain to instigate easier, faster and seamless technological usage. J.P. Morgan, Microsoft and UBS are among some companies partnered in the alliance.

Stay tuned to see what’s on Ethereum’s roadmap for 2018.

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