Ethereum, a cryptocurrency hot on the heels of the Market Cap leader Bitcoin, is the second most popular cryptocurrency of them all.
Launched by Vitalik Buterin in 2015, the concept goes beyond Bitcoin’s simple peer to peer, decentralized, cashless payment system. Ethereum is both a virtual currency and a blockchain platform with smart contract functionality.
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It’s the environment and technology upon which clever developers can build smart applications for practical use in everyday life.
The ETH team’s website says it’s for ‘Building unstoppable applications’.
It’s this applicability which has attracted some of the biggest businesses in the world such as Microsoft, JP Morgan, IBM and others to the Ethereum technology.
While being backed by some of the biggest technology and finance firms, they’re backing the technology behind Ethereum, not necessarily Ether – the digital currency of the Ethereum platform.
In the same way petrol is essential in the running of a car, Ether is needed to continue running the Ethereum platform – even being described as ‘crypto-fuel’ by the founders.
It’s this distinct difference which makes it difficult to try and compare Bitcoin the market leader, to Ethereum.
“I would say Ethereum boasts features and opportunities to things Bitcoin doesn’t. It’s like saying a telephone can beat an orange.” — V. Buterin 2014
ETH is mined in the same way Bitcoin is, where miners earn Ether by validating and storing transactions carried out throughout the ETH platform itself. Similarly, it’s now prohibitively expensive to carry out mining operations on a small, home-based scale for most cryptocurrency investors.
If you’re interested in buying some virtual currencies like Ethereum, do get in touch – our brokers would love to help you secure some ETH.