30th July 2018 marks three years since the open-source, public blockchain-based distributed computing platform Ethereum was launched. From the very moment of its conception in 2013 the platform aimed at building decentralized applications. The cryptocurrency has crossed several milestones.
When Vitalik Buterin, the Co-Founder of Ethereum [ETH], and the author of the initial white paper decided that the science fiction-derived label could be the solution to Bitcoin’s lack of a scripting language. The programmer began the project with Swiss company Ethereum Switzerland GmbH in 2014. Soon after, Ethereum Foundation, a non-profit foundation was formed which was when users began to buy the Ethereum value token [Ether] using the Bitcoin digital currency.
Nick Cowan is the CEO of the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange [GBX], a platform which aspires to posit itself as a global institutional-grade token sale platform and a digital asset exchange. The platform is a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, a European Union [EU] regulated stock exchange. Cowan says:
“It is quite clear the positive impact Ethereum has had on the crypto space as a whole and I don’t believe we would have seen such a rapid development of the token-sale market without it.”
He further added:
“The diverse applications and use cases for Ethereum and its smart contracts have given us a rich and diverse mix of projects.”
The Olympic network [as part of their proof-of-work series] was the first of several prototypes that would later make up the Ethereum blockchain. The foundation began the prototype’s development in early May 2015 essentially providing users with a bug-bounty deal of 25,000 for the purpose of stress-testing the limitations of the Ethereum blockchain.
Roberto Rabasco, the Co-Founder and Application and Cloud Technology Expert at Orvium, an open source platform that manages scholarly publications, said:
“‘Frontier’, the first Live release codename of the Ethereum project, generated the Genesis block exactly two years ago. Today we celebrate Ethereum’s anniversary as the adoption of this technology becomes more widespread, backed up with more than 250,000 developers and 1,800 registered DApps.”
He further added:
” Perhaps, more importantly, 94 out of the top 100 blockchain projects have launched on top of the Ethereum network.”
The prototype ‘Frontier’ marked the tentative release of the official Ethereum blockchain platform in 2015.
On 19th November 2015, Fabian Vogelstelle, an Ethereum developer and Creator of the Ethereum-Wallet proposed ERC-20. Nick Cowan remarks:
“The Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange focused the initial development of our institutional-grade token sale platform, the GBX GRID, on ERC-20 tokens.”
Note: ERC-20 [Ethereum Request for Comment, 20 is the number assigned to the request] is now used as a technical standard for smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain for implementing tokens.
He went on to say:
“This meteoric rise of tokens as a new route to financing for companies has changed the world and I think we’re still only at the beginning. There is still so much more to come.”
The first prototype to be considered stable was ‘Homestead’ [Release date – 14th March 2016] which consisted of advancements in transaction processing, gas pricing, and security. The soft fork, a revision of guidelines that would create blocks accepted as valid by the old software, occurred soon after this upgrade.
On 26th October 2017, the soft fork ‘Metropolis Part 1: Byzantium’ that comprised of changes that would minimize the complexity of Electronic Voting Machines and supply added adaptability to smart contract developers came into effect.
The establishment of the decentralized autonomous organization [DAO], an entity that operates through smart contracts spurred into the biggest controversy for the foundation.
The investor-driven venture capital fund that was set up in 2016, had a creation period during which anybody could send Ether to a unique wallet address in exchange for DOA tokens on a 1-100 scale. The creation period garnered much success as it managed to gather 12.7 Ether [about $150 million at the time], effectively making it the biggest crowd fund ever.
On 17th June 2016, a hacker found a loophole in the coding that allowed him to drain all the funds from the DOA. Although the bug itself did not originate from Ethereum but from an application that was built on it, the fiasco spurred a debate in the cryptocurrency community.
Since the funds were situated in an account that was subjected to a 28-day holding period, the hacker was not able to make a complete getaway. For the users to get back their lost money, Ethereum hard forked all the illicit funds into an account that was made available to the original owners.
One party, who wanted to stay loyal to the original blockchain to continued with Ethereum Classic [ETC] and others decided to join the new hard fork that was created from the list which came to be known as Ethereum [ETH].
Roberto Rabasco further added:
“Ethereum has paved the way for many interesting projects like EOS, NEO, Cardano, and Zilliqa, highlighting how indispensable this technology has become across a wide spectrum of industries.”
He went on to conclude:
“These projects raised significant funds during their respective ICOs, but have also thrived as a result of dedicated communities and teams of developers building the underlying infrastructure to enable the simple launch of applications.”
Yanislav Malahov, ‘The Godfather of Ethereum’ and Founder of Aeternity, a new blockchain technology designed to deliver global scalability and transparent governance says:
“If Ethereum is a 3-year-old iPhone, Aeternity is a brand new android.”
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