Episode #68 - Ethereum & Ether
An introduction to the SECOND most popular blockchain platform and its cryptocurrency
First came Bitcoin. The blockchain technology that Bitcoin made popular AND its cryptocurrency ushered in a brave, new world of possibilities by disrupting what people thought security and money could be. I’ll discuss Bitcoin in a future Episode, but today I wanted to focus on the platform and currency that came after Bitcoin started the digital currency revolution…
Ethereum is, just like Bitcoin, a decentralized blockchain (or digital ledger) platform. That means individuals can securely interact with one another without the need for any third party to oversee or manage those interactions. These are known as “peer-to-peer” transactions.
Developed initially by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum built on Bitcoin’s popularity by adding powerful new features, most notably its own programming language. That was a big deal, actually. That means that not only can Ethereum have its own digital currency but also its own native applications. That’s something Bitcoin never managed to do. Those decentralized applications — called “DApps” — are built using the Solidity scripting language, Ethereum’s native programming language.
Like all blockchains, Ethereum not only can keep a permanent digital ledger of all transactions between all individuals, but it can also issue or create its own digital currencies. Ethereum’s native currency is called “Ether” or “ETH” and is second in popularity only to Bitcoin.
As of August of 2022, one ETH is worth about $1610, with about $195 billion in circulation.
By comparison, one BTC (or Bitcoin) is $21,281, with over $407 billion in circulation.