If you spend any time online, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Ethereum. Just as a reminder, Ethereum (ETH) is a decentralized blockchain platform. It can be used by anyone to create digital technology. Software developers are able to build applications in finance, advertising, identity management, gaming, and web browsing, to name a few. Ether is the cryptocurrency that fuels the network – it allows it to operate. Like Bitcoin, Ether can be used for payments. There are so many companies that accept ETH, so you can spend your Ethereum anywhere. Ethereum brings real value.
Ethereum Is Often Described as The World’s Computer
Ethereum helps create a decentralized computer, which makes possible smart contracts and DApps. Smart contracts are special kinds of programs that run when predetermined conditions are met. They operate based upon an if, then logic. The apps run according to the given instructions, so there’s no chance of latency, restriction, deceit, or third-party interference. DApps, also called decentralized applications, exist on the peer-to-peer network of computers. More often than not, they’re accessible via traditional web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox.
As opposed to Bitcoin, which has a limited scripting language, ETH runs on Solidity, which creates machine-level code and incorporates it within the Ethereum Virtual Machine. It’s similar in nature to C++ and pretty simple to learn. The Ethereum blockchain is capable of executing code of unmatched complexity. Ethereum 1.0 was an attempt to build a world computer. Ethereum 2.0 will be the world computer. It may subsume the functions of the Internet as we know it. What is certain is that the “Merge” will make a difference as regards the Ethereum ecosystem (and more than that).
As highlighted by Its Creator, Ethereum Is at A Critical Turning Point of Change
At the time of the launch, Ethereum was one of the most formidable projects in the crypto space. Vitalik Buterin and his supporters wanted to change how the Internet works. Many argue that Ethereum is the Internet’s next step. Ethereum 2.0, the upgrade to the blockchain network, will improve the speed, efficiency, and scalability of the network. ETH will be used by more and more people. The transition to the Ethereum 2.0 world has been slow, though. In spite of this, adoption is still growing. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, the transaction volume is higher.
For the time being, the priority is to address the restrictions of proof-of-work. The platform is moving to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which promises to use less energy (approx. 99% less) and help reach 100 000 transactions per second. Validators are chosen based on the number of tokens they possess. Those who spend money on coins practically invest in the network’s continued success. Validators can’t corrupt the system, as proof-of-stake has checks and balances in place to prevent this from happening.
There’s so much traffic on the Ethereum blockchain, and this overload can result in high transaction fees. The solution to this problem is simple: layer-2 chains. Chains like Polygon complete more transactions per second with lower gas fees. Speaking of which, Polygon is the most widely adopted layer-2 solution for ETH. It processes transactions outside the mainnet, which explains the increased throughput. In case you didn’t know, Ethereum’s layer-2 solutions fall under several categories, namely channels, plasma, sidechains, rollups, and validium. Many of them are undergoing research, testing, and implementation.
As highlighted by Vitalik Buterin, soon enough, Ethereum will be run on a full node using lighter hardware. A single piece of client software will be enough to run a full node. When a transaction is added to the blockchain network, the full node validates the transaction and ascertains it complies with the Ethereum specification. The full node prunes its blockchain to save disk space. Thus, full nodes don’t store data back to genesis. Most laptops are eligible for being full nodes. The more nodes in existence, the more unlikely it is for a cyberattack to succeed.
Ethereum Will Have Quantum Resistance on Its Roadmap
Cryptocurrencies achieve decentralized security and trust. Cryptography is the pillar of cryptocurrency processing. Encrypted information that is transmitted with an algorithm can be deciphered by a quantum computer, so threat actors can intercept that information. Quantum-resistant cryptography can protect data from threats down the road. Vitalik Buterin is looking ahead into the future and plans to upgrade the Ethereum platform for quantum resistance. It’s believed there are several years ahead until ETH will experience a threat to its current cryptographic signatures, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Ethereum won’t hide from quantum computers, so don’t rush to sell your Ether just yet. Try to imagine what it will become in the future. Wise investors don’t sell their coins. Quite the opposite, actually. They withdraw liquidity from exchanges like Binance, which has a positive effect on the Ethereum price. Getting back on topic, competitions are constantly organized for researchers to standardize new cryptographic protocols that protect against quantum attackers. Better protocols are needed for improving zero-knowledge proofs. The Ethereum Virtual Machine generates zero-knowledge proofs to guarantee the correctness of programs. ZPK systems can be post-quantum secure.
Given the current and planner improvements to the Ethereum blockchain, Ethereum might well become the dominant chain as far as transaction volumes are concerned. As the platform increases its efficiency, it might work alongside multichain technologies. The emergence of a highly competitive ecosystem will enable ETH to expand its capacity and allow for remarkable results. The one won’t replace the other, that is for sure. Down the line, there will be more vertically focused blockchains for specific use cases, including healthcare and gaming.
All in all, Ethereum is working towards solving its problems. As businesses get funded via Ether, an ever-increasing number of people will become familiar with the digital asset. Startups that have raised money through an ICO will end up surviving in the long term and help promote the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. We’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds for ETH. Good things don’t come easy.