What is Ethereum?
One of the greatest technological revolutions of the 21st century
Ethereum: a bit of a strange name, don't you think? Well, it's actually one of the most popular blockchains of recent years. It's a game-changing revolution in the world of technology. So let's begin our journey to understand what Ethereum is, how it works and why it's so important in today's technology landscape.
The genesis of Ethereum
The story of Ethereum dates back to 2013, when Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian aged just 19, began work on this new open-source project. This young programming prodigy was inspired by the potential of blockchain beyond mere cryptocurrency. Unlike Bitcoin, whose main mission is to act as an exchange currency and store of value, Ethereum has always aimed to offer a much wider range of functionalities.
After months of research and development, Ethereum was officially announced in 2014. To make its mission a reality, a crowdfunding campaign was launched. Also known as ICO for Initial Coin Offering, this fundraiser aroused great interest in the crypto community, and nearly $18 million was raised.
In July 2015, Ethereum was officially launched with the release of the source code for its first version. The launch marked the beginning of a new era in blockchain and attracted the attention of developers, investors and technology enthusiasts worldwide.
Ether (ETH): Ethereum's native crypto
Ether is the native crypto-currency of the Ethereum blockchain. It is used to pay transaction fees and reward those who help secure the network. But Ether has a much broader function than that of a simple digital currency. It is also used as "fuel" to run smart contracts and decentralized applications on Ethereum.
Over the years, Ether has experienced significant growth in value, making it one of the most popular and valuable crypto-currencies on the market. Today, it ranks second on the podium, with a market capitalization of over $200 billion. Although still a long way behind Bitcoin (capitalization of around 500 billion dollars), many believe that Ethereum will one day become the market-leading crypto. This event will be known as flippening.
One of the most revolutionary aspects of Ethereum is its ability to execute smart contracts. Smart contracts are self-executing computer programs that automate transactions and agreements between parties. This means that they are automatically executed as soon as predefined conditions are met, without the intervention of an intermediary. This saves time, costs and effort, while ensuring that transactions are executed accurately and securely.
To understand how Ethereum's smart contracts work, it's important to keep a few key concepts in mind. First of all, Ethereum uses its own programming language called Solidity. This language is used to express the specific conditions, actions and rules that will be automatically executed by the smart contract. Once one is deployed on the Ethereum blockchain, it becomes accessible to the whole world! All network participants can interact with it by sending transactions. These transactions trigger the execution of the contract's code, resulting in status changes, fund transfers or any other predefined action.
Ethereum has opened the door to many innovative uses and stimulated the development of a wide range of decentralized applications. Here are some of the most popular uses of Ethereum:
Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
Decentralized finance (DeFi) is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Ethereum ecosystem. It aims to create a financial system that is open and accessible to all, without the need to go through traditional financial institutions. Thanks to Ethereum, it's possible to access financial services such as loans, exchanges, savings products and much more, directly from your digital wallet.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets that are registered on the Ethereum blockchain. They are used to represent ownership of digital assets, such as artworks, videos, audio clips, gaming tokens, etc. NFTs have generated a worldwide craze, with transactions carried out for considerable amounts of money. Ethereum has played a central role in this NFT revolution, providing an ecosystem for their creation, sale and exchange.
Décentralized Applications (dApps)
Decentralized applications, also known as dApps, are applications that run on the Ethereum blockchain rather than on centralized servers. These dApps offer advantages such as transparency, resistance to censorship and user ownership of data. They can be used in a variety of fields, including gaming, social networking, online marketplaces, governance and more.
Ethereum, une blockchain verte
Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum was designed from the outset to take environmental issues into account. Its founder is a fervent advocate of energy efficiency and reduced electricity consumption.
To reduce its ecological footprint, Ethereum has recently undergone a major update in its operating mode. The blockchain has moved from a Proof of Work consensus mechanism to a Proof of Stake mechanism. The Proof of Work used today requires a huge amount of computing power, resulting in high electricity consumption. With the switch to Proof of Stake, the transaction validation process is now carried out by Ethers (ETH), who stake their tokens to secure the network. This eliminates the need for excessive computing power and drastically reduces Ethereum's ecological footprint.
Ethereum has revolutionized the world of technology. By enabling the creation of decentralized applications and the execution of smart contracts, Ethereum has opened up new perspectives in many fields, including finance, digital art and decentralized applications. Its active community and advanced technology continue to drive innovation and explore new horizons.
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