As one of the big name in the community of cryptocurrency, Ethereum was once known as the second largest cryptocurrency (by market cap) after Bitcoin. Although Ethereum now handled over its title of second largest cryptocurrency to Ripple, but with a market capitalization of over 12 billion dollars, Ethereum still looks pretty solid.
What is Ethereum
To simplify what is an Ethereum, it can be identified as a blockchain which act as a global “world computer” that nobody owns exclusively. Anyone who has access to the blockchain could upload programs and smart contracts in the block chain and executes it.
The core of Ethereum is its decentralized nature, which means that the presence of a central point of failure is omitted. In a nutshell, Being an alternative protocol or an open software platform for the construction of a decentralized application is the intention of Ethereum. This further leads us to another question, what is a decentralized application after all ?
Decentralized application a.k.a Dapp refers to an application which is constructed utilising the blockchain technologies. One well known example for this is Bitcoin, which is actually a decentralized cryptocurrency application dedicated for payment. Unlike conventional applications, decentralized applications which runs on top of blockchain technology inherits benefits from its properties such as continuous availability, high security, immutability and resistance against tamper. The existence of Ethereum as an open software platform for the building of Dapp is extremely meaningful as virtually any applications can be turned into decentralized applications. The endless possibilities associated with Ethereum yields endless opportunity for mankind.
Ethereum is now commonly utilised as a digital currency to perform transactions between accounts. However, besides playing the role of a digital medium of exchange, there are also a lot of other exciting potential applications of Ethereum to be explored such as decentralized file storage solution, application in Insurance field for enhanced security or even market predictions. In short, although the protocol of Ethereum does not support the creation of those applications in a direct way, but it does provide the building block necessary to do so. It has successfully brought the application of blockchain beyond currency. To acquire more information on Ethereum, the whitepaper as well as a more beginners-friendly whitepaper is included below.
Ethereum Whitepaper made easy