Ethereum is a decentralized open-source blockchain system that features its own cryptocurrency, Ether. ETH works as a platform for numerous other cryptocurrencies, as well as for the execution of decentralized smart contracts.
Ethereum was first described in a 2013 whitepaper by Vitalik Buterin. Buterin, along with other co-founders, secured funding for the project in an online public crowd sale in the summer of 2014 and officially launched the blockchain on July 30, 2015.(https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/ethereum/)
Ethereum is open access to digital money and data-friendly services for everyone – no matter your background or location. It’s a community-built technology behind the cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and thousands of applications you can use today. (https://ethereum.org/en/what-is-ethereum/)
Who founded ethereum?
Ethereum was founded by eight people.The most popular of these founders is Russian-Canadian Vitalik Buterin.
He published the Ethereum White Paper in 2013. Buterin, along with other co-founders, secured funding for the project in an online public crowd sale in the summer of 2014 and officially launched the blockchain on July 30, 2015.
British programmer Gavin Wood is arguably the second most important co-founder of ETH, as he coded the first technical implementation of Ethereum in the C++ programming language, proposed Ethereum’s native programming language Solidity and was the first chief technology officer of the Ethereum Foundation. Before Ethereum, Wood was a research scientist at Microsoft. Afterward, he moved on to establish the Web3 Foundation.
Gavin Wood, Co-founder of Ethereum
What Makes Ethereum Unique?
Ethereum has pioneered the concept of a blockchain smart contract platform. Smart contracts are computer programs that automatically execute the actions necessary to fulfill an agreement between several parties on the internet. They were designed to reduce the need for trusted intermediates between contractors, thus reducing transaction costs while also increasing transaction reliability.
Ethereum’s principal innovation was designing a platform that allowed it to execute smart contracts using the blockchain, which further reinforces the already existing benefits of smart contract technology. Ethereum’s blockchain was designed, according to co-founder Gavin Wood, as a sort of “one computer for the entire planet,” theoretically able to make any program more robust, censorship-resistant and less prone to fraud by running it on a globally distributed network of public nodes.
In addition to smart contracts, Ethereum’s blockchain is able to host other cryptocurrencies, called “tokens,” through the use of its ERC-20 compatibility standard. In fact, this has been the most common use for the ETH platform so far: to date, more than 280,000 ERC-20-compliant tokens have been launched. Over 40 of these make the top-100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, for example, USDT, LINK and BNB.
How Many Ethereum (ETH) Coins Are There In Circulation?
In August 2020, there were around 112 million ETH coins in circulation, 72 million of which were issued in the genesis block — the first ever block on the Ethereum blockchain. Of these 72 million, 60 million were allocated to the initial contributors to the 2014 crowd sale that funded the project, and 12 million were given to the development fund.
The remaining amount has been issued in the form of block rewards to the miners on the Ethereum network. The original reward in 2015 was 5 ETH per block, which later went down to 3 ETH in late 2017 and then to 2 ETH in early 2019. The average time it takes to mine an Ethereum block is around 13-15 seconds.
One of the major differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum’s economics is that the latter is not deflationary, i.e. its total supply is not limited. Ethereum’s developers justify this by not wanting to have a “fixed security budget” for the network. Being able to adjust ETH’s issuance rate via consensus allows the network to maintain the minimum issuance needed for adequate security.(https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/ethereum/)