What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is an evolution in blockchain technology that promises to change the digital world. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin has put blockchain technology front and center in the minds of savvy tech developers around the planet. While Bitcoin, a digital cryptocurrency, may be garnering the most headlines, it isn’t the only way that blockchain technology is getting attention. This is where Ethereum comes into play. Ethereum is a stunning new developmental technology that is aiming to decentralize and effectively democratize the internet. In order to fully comprehend Ethereum, we need to take a step back so as to start from the beginning.
Ethereum’s Simple Goal.
In order to appropriately understand Ethereum, we must have a rounded knowledge of how the internet works. Every time that you use the internet, you record data. Through websites like Amazon, Google or Facebook, your data is collected and stored on a remote server. The server that records your personal information, such as your password or social security number, is a digital object that can be compromised by a third party. Third party hacks of prominent servers happen all of the time. Look at how frequently online data breaches occur. Data leaks show the dangers that compromised servers can create. Ethereum seeks to disrupt the tradition of third-party servers by putting data into the hands of everyone, everywhere.
Ethereum Can Change The Internet.
The core mission statement of Ethereum is to fundamentally erase the client-server relationship that fuels the web. In its place, Ethereum is seeking to install countless ‘nodes’ around the world via blockchain technology. Each of these nodes represents an individual computer, operated by a volunteer user, that aids in the execution of a specific goal. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum is offering much more than just an alternative to fiat currency.
At each node, miners copy and transcribe data that has been added to the system. This data is duplicated thousands upon thousands of times, thus creating an impenetrable ledger that is invulnerable to being breached and altered by a third party hacker. In creating this perfect ledger, data can be recorded without concern that it will be compromised by a nefarious individual or group of individuals. It is easy to see how Ethereum could replace the role of third-party servers. This kind of security and efficiency is hard to ignore.
With Ethereum, miners at each node dig for something known as Ether. Ether is a token that helps to keep the technology working. Ether can be openly traded for currency on the various coin exchange platforms on the internet. Earning tokens works as an incentive for the various node operators to keep data flowing. Without this incentive, there would be no volunteers working to keep the system operational. Tokens can be traded at the various coin exchanges online for traditional currency. Like all cryptocurrencies, the Ethereum price at the time of trade will fluctuate based on market conditions.
Ethereum isn’t aimed toward one specific goal. While one of the more touted uses of Ethereum is to erase client-server relationships, it isn’t the only goal possible. In fact, you’d be wiser to call Ethereum a piece of ‘open source software’ that can be used and manipulated by anyone, anywhere, for whatever goals that they come up with. There are skeptics of Ethereum as a technology but only time will tell if they are right or not.