Although you can immediately identify it as a virtual coin, Ethereum is more of a platform. The currency’s name has always been Ether, although nowadays the name is being used indistinctly because of its popularity. The Ethereum platform was created by Russian developer Vitalik Buterin. Unlike Satoshi Nakamoto (the name associated with the creation of Bitcoin and whose identity has never been confirmed), Buterin is completely identifiable.
One of the most attractive features of Etherum are the smart contracts, a safe way to guarantee a contract’s fulfilment without the intervention of a third party. By using it, with the previous authorization of both parties, the platform executes the established terms once the conditions are met. Generally speaking, it would be like establishing a program to complete a pre-established order once certain factors are met.
Blockchain technology is behind Etherum, just like Bitcoin. This method can be found in most digital currencies, although some of them –like IOTA– are daring to perform in a different way.
There are some differences between Bitcoin and Ether, but they both work and are obtained in a similar way (through Blockchain and mining). The biggest difference, one that could be crucial in the future, is that there is a limited number of Bitcoins (21 million), while Ethereum doesn’t have a cap.
Present and future of Ether
Ethereum, as a currency, is gaining relevance among the people. This is because every person can get certain amount of this asset and, with the market moving favorably, you can get significant profits in a relatively short period of time. That is a trend among the main cryptocurrencies in the world.
Although currently is mainly used as an investment and its nature remains speculative, there are some companies and businesses that are beginning to use Etherum regularly for payments and transactions through smart contracts, which bodes a promising future once the market settles down.
There’s a long way to go for this type of contracts to normalize (also because the platform itself needs some improvements), but by no means it’s a utopian vision nor a long-term one.
For the time being, you can get Ethereum in most of the world's Exchange platforms. As of today, it is one of the three cryptocurrencies available on Coinbase (one of the world’s main Exchanges), which implies an easier way to invest, especially when compared to other services.
If it keeps its upwards pace, it won’t be long before it surpasses the $1.000 USD mark once again, the desired goal of both the experienced investors, as well as those who are looking to successfully embark in the digital asset sector.
By Antonio Menéndez