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What Is Ethereum, And Why Should You Invest In It?
Nov 12, 2020 03:32PM 7 min read

A Beginner's Guide To Ethereum

 

What Is Ethereum, And Why Should You Invest In It?

What is Ethereum? How is it revolutionizing the digital world? And is it a good investment asset?

 

Introduction

Launched in 2015, Ethereum is a blockchain-based, open-source, decentralized software platform. It uses its native cryptocurrency, Ether. The platform enables smart contracts and distributed applications (dApps) to be built and run on it. These can run on the platform without any downtime, control, fraud, or interference from any third party.

DApps on the Ethereum platform enable users to conduct transactions with each other, buy or sell goods and services without an intermediary. These agreements are stored in individual ledgers, making it safe from data breaches and keeping the user in control of the data.

Ethereum aims to be a "world computer" that aims to decentralize and democratize the client-server model. Central servers would be replaced by thousands of nodes, run by volunteers the world over.

The founders of Ethereum hope to enable the functionality of running nodes to people all over the world. Users can then compete amongst themselves and offer services.

 

What Is Ethereum?

The simplest definition of Ethereum is that it is an open-source platform based on blockchain technology. It enables developers to develop and deploy decentralized applications (dApps).

Ethereum wants to decentralize the client-server model, aiming to replace central servers with thousands of nodes operated by volunteers worldwide. It intends to bring this functionality to users all over the world.

Traditional apps rely on third parties to store personal information and information like purchasing history and credit card details. These are all stored in servers owned or operated by third parties. Ethereum plans to return the control of data back to its owner.

 

How Does Ethereum Work?

Ethereum's blockchain is very similar to that of Bitcoin. The ledger is publicly available to anyone who wants to scrutinize it. It also stores the entire transaction history of every transaction that has occurred on the network. Each node on the network stores a copy of the transaction history.

Ethereum's blockchain, however, goes a step further than Bitcoin's blockchain. Apart from storing the entire history of transactions, every node on the Ethereum network downloads the smart contract's most recent state, the user's balance, smart contract code, and where it is stored.  

The Ethereum blockchain is defined as a transaction-based state machine. In simple terms, a state machine can read a series of inputs and then transition into a new state depending on the information it has processed.

Every state of Ethereum contains millions of transactions. Transactions are grouped into blocks, and each block is chained to previous blocks. Before being added to the ledger, the transaction needs to be validated. Miners do this validation through a process called mining.

Nodes use their computing power to solve complex mathematical problems and validate transactions. Transactions once verified are added to the ledger, and a record of the transaction is created. Miners compete with each other to validate transactions and create a block. As a reward for validating a transaction, new ether tokens are generated and rewarded to the miner.

Miners are the network's backbone, validating transactions, and carrying out other tasks within the Ethereum network. Miners also help in keeping the network secure. You can read more about the way Ethereum works here. 

 

What Is Ether?

Ether is the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, used to make payments and carry out transactions. Apps on the Ethereum network require processing power via the network to complete their tasks and processes. A fee is to be paid to cover the costs.

Ether is the token, which lets you pay the fee on the Ethereum network. It allows the network to process any changes that have been made. Transaction fees differ depending on how many changes are made by the app.

Ether differs from other cryptocurrencies. Other currencies have a maximum number of tokens that can be mined. Ether does not have any such limits. Eighteen million Ether are mined every year. Users bought around 60 million Ether in 2014 through a crowdfunding campaign. Twelve million Ether went to the Ethereum Foundation. Miners are rewarded five ether tokens for verifying each transaction. It isn't easy to know how many Ether tokens exist at any time.

 

How Can You Get Ether?

There are two ways to get Ether. You can buy it, or you could mine it. The more convenient method of getting Ether is to buy it. To purchase, all you have to do is find an operational exchange in your jurisdiction and trades in Ether. You can create an account on the exchange and then use cash, wire transfer, or even your credit card to buy Ether. The Ether would need to be stored in a wallet. This is obtained from the online exchange itself.

Ether can also be obtained through peer-to-peer trading. You can pay for it using traditional currency or other cryptocurrencies. Peer-to-peer trading is popular among users of Bitcoin. However, the Ethereum platform does not give the user complete anonymity, so users prefer to obtain them from exchanges.

Ether can also be mined. Miners use proof-of-work, contributing their computing power to solve complex mathematical problems and confirm an action or a transaction on the network. Miners completing their tasks receive a reward in the form of Ether.

 

What Are The Advantages Of Ethereum?

The Ethereum network and blockchain have quite a few advantages. Some of the benefits are

 

1. Decentralized

Ethereum runs on a completely decentralized platform. There is no need for an intermediary to perform any actions during a transaction. The smart-contracts are self-executed.

 

2. Faster transaction speeds

The automation of blockchain processes ensures that the transactions are significantly quicker, lengthy manual verifications. Faster transactions are also cheaper as there are no third-party fees that have to be paid.

 

3. Immutable

Transactions on the Ethereum blockchain are immutable. The data entered cannot be changed. This makes Ethereum nearly impossible to getting hacked.

 

4. Secure

All transactions are secured cryptographically. Ethereum has three times more nodes than Bitcoin to verify transactions, giving it higher security.

 

Attacks that have occurred have occurred due to poorly coded smart contracts rather than due to the blockchain.

 

Is Ethereum A Good Investment?

Ethereum is among the most popular open-source platforms that run on blockchain technology. It is the second-largest crypto by market capitalization after Bitcoin. It supports not only its native currency Ether but also other tokens such as ERC-20.

It has various applications beyond just cryptocurrency trading. Ethereum is not only a decentralized platform but also a programming language. It helps developers create decentralized applications that enable users of the platform to conduct transactions and make payments without a third party.

Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum is a good investment option. It has had its fair share of ups and downs, but investors and experts believe that Ethereum will grow in the long term.

In the future, Ethereum's second iteration will also influence investing in Ethereum. The main focus of Ethereum 2.0 will be on energy efficiency and staking.

If you need more reasons to invest in Ethereum, then the increasing use of blockchain technology should be a good enough reason. Blockchain technology attracts successful traders and investors. The technology can facilitate commodities trading, loan distribution, and online payments.

 

Why Should You Invest In Ethereum?

Ethereum, as a technology, can change the world. dApps and smart contracts allow users to conduct transactions and buy or sell goods without any third party's involvement. With the help of smart contracts, Ethereum can revolutionize digital ownership and computer programming.

Users will be able to buy goods from around the world without dealing with any third parties like banks. Ethereum will enable the tokenization of artwork, mortgages, and person-to-person transactions.

Ethereum's cryptocurrency Ether is one of the more popular cryptocurrencies. Unlike Bitcoin, Ether is uncapped. The number of tokens in circulation is steadily increasing.

Another reason to invest in Ethereum is diversification. A diverse portfolio matters when it comes to trading and Ethereum is an attractive investment asset. Experts also see significant potential when it comes to Ethereum. Experts predict that it could have a market cap of a trillion dollars, and the token could reach $10,000.

Some experts have predicted that Ethereum's potential high could go as high as $50,000. If you are a seasoned investor with a risk appetite, you could exploit these price swings.

 

Conclusion

Ethereum has shown a lot of promise and has received a lot of support from cryptocurrency enthusiasts and experts. Despite this, it is also under a lot of pressure from regulators and governments. This affects the price of the currency and contributes to its volatility. Proper research and proper investment education are essential before investing.

Any kind of investment is risky, especially when there is volatility. However, over the past two years, Ethereum has generated around a 40% return.  Investing in Ethereum, while risky, can also be lucrative. More and more companies are using Ethereum as a building block. This lays a solid foundation for investment.

That being said, Ethereum still faces significant volatility, so invest with caution.

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