Ethereum is a platform that has been designed to enable the creation of multiple decentralised applications that run on a blockchain network. Smart contracts power the functions of these decentralised applications.
Ethereum was released to the public on 30th June 2015 and has since increased in popularity. As from late January 2016, ethereum experienced a surge in interest amongst global investors. With less than a year since its release, ethereum had obtained a record-breaking market capitalization valued at over $1 billion. Not only does this show the promise of Ethereum’s growth but it also indicates that the world’s trust in it to revolutionize computing.
What are the benefits of Ethereum?
Using ethereum to facilitate transactions has its set of advantages, below we discuss some of the most obvious benefits of using ethereum, its platform and network.
- Corruption free and Tamper Proof: Applications running on Ethereum’s network are based on the principle of consensus, this makes censorship impossible. Data available on Ethereum’s system can’t be subjected to changes by any third party or entity. The records of every transaction on Ethereum’s network is accessible to everyone and can be easily be traced. (the transactions are traceable from the sender and receiver perspective, this means that the real identities of the people carrying out the transaction can’t be revealed). Ethereum transactions are impossible to doctor or alter meaning corruption of data is virtually impossible.
- Zero downtime: Applications or services running on ethereum can’t be switched off. The reason behind this is that all applications running on blockchain are decentralized. In the event of a particular part of the system going down, the occurrence will not affect the entire system or lead to disruption of services across the platform as seen with conventional systems in use today.
- Secure: the legacy systems used in facilitating global transactions are typically handled using a single server entity across the whole network. The fact that all data is housed at one central location makes hackers exploit this vulnerability. Ethereum’s system and network have no central point and is protected using highly sophisticated cryptography; this has deterred hackers from attempting to undertake fraudulent activities on the network. One aspect worth noting about ethereum is that every participant is a server and client simultaneously leading to an unprecedented increase in Ethereum’s network security.
How do I access Ethereum?
One of the easiest ways to access the ethereum network is by using its native browser, the Mist Browser. Mist provides its clients with a user-friendly browser that has a wallet for storing and trading Ether. The browser allows the writing, managing, using and deploying of multiple smart contracts. The same way conventional browsers provide its users with the ability to navigate the web, Mist provides its users with a portal through which they can access all available decentralized blockchain applications available on Ethereum’s network.
There is the MetaMask extension that can be incorporated to the Chrome browser; this extension converts the Chrome web browser into an Ethereum browser. MetaMask allows ethereum users to use their chrome browsers to design, develop and run decentralized applications. Currently, MetaMask is working on providing a plugin and extension that will be used on other web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox.
What apps are in development on Ethereum?
Ethereum’s decentralized environment is being adopted by numerous developers to design and create multiple applications that will be able to provide services and industries for ethereum clients. The developers working on these projects are on unchartered territory making it is quite early to speculate what applications will emerge successful.
Ethereum can be used to develop many applications to meet the demands of multiple industries, a perfect example being the creation of an ethereum gambling casino. Below we’ve put together some of the exciting ethereum applications that are in the development phase.
This application hopes to provide an open environment that will be used by ethereum clients to crowdfund various projects through the leveraging of smart contracts. Weifund is being programmed to convert the contributions made to digital assets that are contractually backed. The digital assets will be sold, used or traded within Ethereum’s ecosystem.
The ultimate objective of Uport is to enable Ethereum’s network clients to have a full control of their identity details by storing them securely and conveniently. Uport is being designed to change the reliance on government institutions or the need to surrender personal information to third parties. This will be achieved by developing a platform that users will use to choose who can access their data.
With the surge of interest in blockchain technology and applications, BlockApps is aiming at providing corporations and clients with an easy way to manage, deploy and create blockchain applications. By the end of BlockApps creation, the app will be able to provide institutions with the required tools to be used in the development of private, semi-private and exceptional industry-specific blockchain apps.
Provenance is an ethereum based application that is in development. The purpose of the app is to make the unseen supply chains in Ethereum’s blockchain network more transparent. They hope to do this by tracing back the histories of products and services within the network. The objective of provenance is to create a framework that is accessible and capable of providing information that clients on the ethereum network can use to make informed decisions before acquiring products.
The future of Ethereum
Taking into considerations the details we’ve discussed on ethereum such as its uses, its functions, the advantages of adopting it in the creation of decentralized applications. It is quite obvious why there is much attention being put on it by investors globally.
Given its achievements, it is certain that the ethereum will not fade from the market anytime soon. The speed at which ethereum grows and the scope of its adoption by various industries depend on factors such as how powerful its blockchain network will become.
Additionally, the talent and creativity of ethereum developers in creating futuristic solutions for different industries on a global scale will determine the future of this technology