If you’re curious about Ethereum’s potential, you’re not alone. Nearly everyone in the crypto world is buzzing about the platform, including Blokt’s Greg Adams.
Ethereum is the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization with a market cap of $42.5B USD as of April 2018. It’s also a blockchain-based computing platform for decentralized applications. Ethereum has even been called a world computer that you can never shut down.
If you’re curious about Ethereum’s potential, you’re not alone. Nearly everyone in the crypto world is buzzing about the platform.
“It’s hard to predict, but I do believe Ethereum can overtake Bitcoin,” says Adams.
Ethereum’s Blockchain Technology
Ethereum’s highly accessible blockchain system makes it relatively easy for developers to build and launch a diversity of exciting projects based on blockchain technology. That includes crypto-assets, decentralized applications (DApps) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).
This developer-friendly outlook, combined with the value of ether (Ethereum’s native token), has made Ethereum the platform of choice for many crypto-asset entrepreneurs and blockchain evangelists.
“It boils down to the fact that Ethereum can support other tokens that run on top of it. There are other blockchains that have smart contract programming language, but Ethereum is the first mover, so it’s become the standard for new tokens,” Adams explains.
That’s why a majority of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) now launch on Ethereum. As ICOs begin bringing their products to market, it’ll mean more usage for Ethereum, and more demand for ETH. Ethereum’s key advantage over Bitcoin is the sheer number of developers working on its platform. While other decentralized platforms exist in the crypto world, Ethereum has emerged as a leader of the pack.
“There are more developers working on Ethereum than some of the newer currencies or blockchain projects,” Adams notes. “They have the biggest developer share.”
Think about it this way: Bitcoin is a single cryptocurrency, so when you invest in it you are putting all your eggs in one basket. Ethereum takes the “let a thousand flowers bloom” approach.
What Apps Are Running on Ethereum?
The idea is that any product (or service) that is centralized can be decentralized using Ethereum. That includes everything that’s currently controlled by bureaucratic intermediaries: banking, credit, payments, insurance, real estate, advertising, licensing, voting, government regulations.
Developers are busy creating decentralized apps on the Ethereum platform with an aim to change the way products and services are distributed and sold. Adams says we’re starting to see some this change take shape.
“The one that I’m really keen on is Blockv, which is basically an Ethereum-based startup that tokenizes digital objects,” says Adams. “It’s very interesting in terms of the advertising possibilities.”
Blockv is based on the idea of turning virtual goods into experiential smart tokens. Essentially, the user could acquire virtual goods online by engaging in certain activities — like interacting with an ad, or playing a game — and then exchange these virtual goods for products and services in the real world.
For example, you could acquire a digital bottle of Coca-Cola, and redeem that in a shop for a real one. And then if you want another free Coca-Cola, you share the interaction with your friends. Your digital object on your screen would regenerate every time your friends redeemed their digital objects in the real world.
“It’ll create an ecosystem of digital objects so anyone can create one, and these objects are malleable,” adds Adams.
Other popular apps built on the Ethereum platform include:
- Augur is a decentralized prediction market which allows its users to forecast events and be rewarded for predicting them correctly.
- Brave Attention Token (BAT) is a token a utility token that is used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers, and users on Brave’s operating platform.
- Etheria is a Minecraft-style virtual world where everything is for sale.
- Provenance focuses on transparency in supply chains so that consumers can discover what raw materials go into products they buy.
- Weifund enables smart contract-based crowdfunding that gives users digital assets based on their contribution levels.
- Uport is a complete self-sovereign identity system that gives users more control over who can access their data and personal information.
These projects are just the beginning of what’s in store for the future of Ethereum.
“As time goes on,” Adams explains, “the barriers to programming on Ethereum will be less. There are people playing, testing, using the platform. [As] mistakes are made, people know what to look out for when writing smart contracts, so best practices become more apparent.”
Bitcoin may be the starting point for many delving into cryptocurrency, but it’s by far not the optimal use case for many products being delivered through the technology. “Once ICOs bring products to the market, Ethereum comes to the forefront,” says Adams. “On Bitcoin, you have to jump through more hoops, pay more fees, and use a third party software to achieve the same thing.”
With that said, is Ethereum the future of cryptocurrency? While new platforms are created with similar designs, Adams sees the future in Ethereum.
“In terms of smart contract capabilities, Ethereum is already miles ahead of any other platform.”
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