• Ethereum launched in 2015 as an open-source, blockchain-based decentralized software platform.
  • Gas refers to the fee or pricing value required to conduct a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Ether is the currency used on the Ethereum Blockchain.
  • Ethereum was proposed by Vitalik Buterin.

Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source, and community-run blockchain. Ethereum features smart contract functionality that powers thousands of decentralized applications.

Ether also known as ETH is the cryptocurrency of the platform.

Before we dig too deep inside the world of the Ethereum network, we first need to understand what cryptocurrency is.

Cryptocurrency is a digital asset working as a platform or a medium of exchange. Cryptocurrency is using cryptography for controlling and securing each and every transaction. It has limited entries in the database that no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions.

There are no physical coins, it’s all digital currency. This currency is stored on the Blockchain and only exists in a network. The network itself is fully decentralized, which means that not one single centralized party controls it such as a bank might control other currencies.

The History of Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum was proposed in 2013 by a programmer named Vitalik Buterin, and the development process itself was crowdfunded in 2014. The network itself went live for the very first time on the 30th of July of 2015 and had 72 million coins (ETH) premined.

The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) can execute turning-complete scripts and run decentralized applications. Ethereum itself is used for decentralized finance and has been used for many initial coin offerings in the past.

Around this time in 2015, Buterin released the first beta version of Ethereum where the protocol received the name “Frontier”. This release helped push its value up. The second upgrade was named “Homestead” and this was the first time that the concept of DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations) became public knowledge.

These DAOs take the functionalities of corporations and convert all of the aspects into smart contracts. Ethereum’s first DAO launched on April 30, 2016.

Throughout this point in history, this DAO was the largest blockchain crowdfunding even in our history. Little did they know what would happen next.

When we move forward to the year 2016, a group of hackers managed to exploit a flaw in a third-party project known as “The DAO” and managed to steal $60 million of Ether.

This led to the community voting for a hard fork on the blockchain to reverse the heft, and as such Ethereum Classic (ETC) continued as the original chain.

After that incident, Ethereum implemented upgrades in the form of “Ethereum 2.0” and these included the transaction to a proof of stake and an increase in the transaction using sharding.

If that was a little bit confusing, let us explain what a hard fork is. A hard fork is essentially a change in the rules so that the software can validate according to the old rules and will see the blocks produced according to the new rules as invalid.

When a hard fork occurs, all of the nodes which were meant to work in accordance with the new rules need to upgrade their software first.

Moving along the story, on July 20th of 2016 when the upgrade to restore the user funds was executed, and the Ethereum blockchain was split in two. This gave birth to Ethereum Classic, a parallel network.

From that point onward, the Ethereum network has hard forked seven additional times.

This decision to go with a hard fork would have quite a bit of consequence throughout the cryptocurrency market. Up to the point where it would lead ETH-based platforms to shun throughout the security token space. ETH managed to regain market confidence following the attack in 2017 and the value of Ether grew high.

More about Ethereum…