Ethereum: What is it, and How is it Different From the Other Crypto Coins?

Richard Montana | May 27, 2022

Using blockchain technology and smart contracts, Ethereum creates a global virtual machine that securely runs and validates application code, known as smart contracts, over a peer-to-peer network. Without a trusted central authority, participants can interact with each other via smart contracts. Thanks to immutable, verifiable, and securely distributed transaction records, participants have complete ownership and insight of transaction data. User-created Ethereum accounts serve as the conduit for the transmission and reception of transactions. As a cost of executing transactions on the Ethereum network, a sender must sign transactions and spend Ether, Ethereum’s native coin.

What is the Ethereum Protocol?

Blockchain technology is at the heart of Ethereum’s decentralized software platform. Anyone may use it to construct any safe digital technology they can imagine. It has a token built for the blockchain network as a payment mechanism.

Smart contracts, the foundation of decentralized apps, are natively supported. Smart contracts and blockchain technology are commonly used in decentralized finance (DeFi) and other applications.

Vitalik Buterin, the man credited with the conception of Ethereum, issued a white paper in 2014 to explain the cryptocurrency. Joe Lubin, the creator of ConsenSys, and Vitalik Buterin were behind the introduction of the Ethereum platform in 2015. Even before it was possible to create a safe and secure virtual payment system, Ethereum’s creators saw the potential of blockchain technology to do much more.

The hard fork, or split, of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, is an important event in Ethereum’s history. More than $50 million in Ether, funded for the DAO project, was stolen from the Ethereum blockchain in 2016 when a group of network members acquired majority control.

Third-party developers were credited for the raid’s success, which was due to their engagement in the new project. Some preferred to continue with their old Ethereum blockchain, even though most of the Ethereum community voted to invalidate the current Ethereum blockchain and approve the creation of a new one with an updated history. Ethereum Classic, the original, unaltered version, was created after Ethereum split in two (ETC).

Ether has become the second-largest cryptocurrency on the market since it was introduced Ethereum. Only Bitcoin surpasses it in popularity.

How does Ethereum function?

The technology behind Ethereum, like that of other cryptocurrencies, is based on the blockchain. The information in each block is added to the new blocks, along with the latest data, in a lengthy chain of blocks. One may find a shared and duplicate copy of the blockchain all around the network. An agreement is then reached on the integrity of transaction information on this blockchain through an automated network of algorithms. The blockchain is particularly secure since one can make no modifications unless the whole network agrees.

A consensus method is used to get one. To establish the validity of an encrypted number using the proof-of-work protocol, a network of participants must run software that attempts to decrypt it. A method of proving a number is known as mining, and the first miner to do so is paid in Ether. Each time a new blockchain block is created, the previous block’s data is encrypted and added to the new block, and the mining process is restarted from the ground up.

Large mining complexes known as “mining farms,” financed by businesses and wealthy entities, have emerged due to the proof-of-work protocol and competitive incentive structure.

ETH owners will be required to “stake” their ETH in a new consensus system known as proof-of-stake when Ethereum makes the switch. Incentives for mining are provided by staking Ether, which prevents it from being traded and serves as collateral for mining privileges. As per the new scheme, there will be no need for the entire network to compete for incentives. Users who have staked Ether will be selected by the protocol instead at random. The Ether earned by these validators is used to compensate them for their efforts.

Wallets are used by Ethereum owners to “store” their Ether. An ether wallet is a digital interface that gives you access to your blockchain-stored Ether. Wallet addresses are similar to email addresses in that they allow people to transfer Ether, much like they would an email, to your wallet.

Your wallet is only a place to save your Ether. When you make a transaction, you utilize your wallet’s private keys just like you would a password. Each Ether you hold is associated with a unique personal key. Because it’s so crucial to gaining access to your Ether, you may have heard a lot about how to save and protect this key.

How is Ethereum different from other crypto coins?

Usually, there has always been a comparison between Ethereum and Bitcoin. Let us have a look at a few points of comparison between them.

Bitcoin is frequently compared to Ethereum. Many parallels exist between the two cryptocurrencies, but there are some key differences.

According to the description, “the world’s first and only programmable blockchain,” Ethereum positions itself as an electronic network that you can use in various ways. The Bitcoin blockchain, on the other hand, has been built only to serve Bitcoin money.

This platform was built with a comprehensive vision of using blockchain technology in many ways. The sole purpose of Bitcoin is to be used as a payment mechanism.

Currently, there are some 21 million bitcoins only in circulation. Although the total quantity of ETH that it may generate is limitless, the processing time it takes to process a block of ETH restricts the annual ETH supply. More than 120 million Ethereum currencies are now in use.

The Ethereum and Bitcoin networks are very different in terms of transaction costs. Participants in Ethereum transactions are responsible for paying these costs, referred to as “gas” on the Ethereum network. The Bitcoin network absorbs the transaction fees that are connected with Bitcoin transactions.

Both Ethereum and Bitcoin’s blockchains need a lot of energy, which is a critical similarity. Because each of these blockchains uses the proof-of-work system, this is the reason for the disparity. Proof-of-stake is a lot more energy efficient than proof-of-work.

Investing in Ethereum the right way

Several cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to buy Ethereum. To purchase and sell Ether, investors can utilize one of the various cryptocurrency exchanges available. Exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, Gemini, and Binance and financial services firms like Robinhood support Ethereum. On services like Venmo and PayPal, Ethereum is one of the few types of cryptocurrency that you may purchase.

What are the options for purchasing Ethereum in Canada?

Cryptocurrency exchanges are by far the most convenient way to purchase Ethereum. To know how to buy Ethereum in Canada, you won’t have a problem finding an exchange that lists many coins, such as Binance and Coinbase, both popular. If you plan to use Ether to trade other cryptocurrencies, this is a fantastic alternative.

Ethereum’s future

An essential aspect of the Ethereum platform known as Eth2, Ethereum’s shift to the proof-of-stake protocol allows users to confirm transactions and mint additional Ethereum (ETH) using their Ethereum holdings. That capacity increase also helps to alleviate long-standing congestion issues on the Ethereum network, which has pushed gas costs higher over the years.

A growing number of high-profile businesses are embracing the Ethereum platform. In 2020, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and ConsenSys announced a collaborative venture to build an Ethereum-based data center network. With ConsenSys, Microsoft has been developing Ethereum Blockchain as a Service on Microsoft’s Azure platform since 2015.

Although the web is merely a concept, many of the applications being created already use Ethereum, leading many to believe that it will power the net in the future.

In addition to gaming and virtual reality, Ethereum is being used. The Ethereum blockchain safeguards goods in the virtual environment known as Decentraland. Tokenization on the blockchain creates ownership of real estate, avatars, wearables, buildings, and surroundings. Another blockchain-based game, Axie Infinity, has its cryptocurrency, Smooth Love Potion (SLP), utilized for in-game awards and transactions.

2021 saw the advancement of NFTs or non-fungible tokens. Ethereum is used to construct NFTs, which are tokenized digital goods. Tokenization is creating a unique digital ticket for a single digital asset, which is then stored on the blockchain. Because the encrypted data contains the wallet address of the owner, this demonstrates ownership. Trading or selling NFTs is considered a blockchain transaction. Ownership is transferred once the network verifies the transaction.

For a wide range of assets, NFTs are being created. A sports token (also known as “Fan Tokens”) can be purchased by sports enthusiasts, which you can use like trading cards. Images that look like trading cards and footage of significant moments in an athlete’s career make up some of these NFTs.

Your wallet, a dApp, or the virtual environment and buildings you visit in the metaverse are likely based on Ethereum.

Automated Organizations (DAO) are becoming more common. Making choices on a distributed network is made easier with DAOs. Consider a venture capital fund that has raised money through fund-raising, but you want the decision-making and distribution processes to be decentralized and transparent.

A DAO may employ smart contracts and applications to collect the opinions of the fund’s members and then automatically invest in projects with a majority of their votes. All participants would be able to see the transactions, and a third party would handle no monies.

Ethereum looks to have a substantial role to play in personal and corporate finance and many other parts of our modern life, even though the future of cryptocurrencies is still hazy.

About the Author

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Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

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