August 2, 2017
J.P Morgan Chase, Microsoft and Intel allied in order to create the fiercest rival to Bitcoin in circulation today: Ethereum. The main purpose of the endeavor was to program binding agreements into the Blockchain itself. This incarnated into the now-popular smart contract feature.
Interestingly, Ethereum is not just a currency. It’s a Blockchain platform powered by the Ether cryptocurrency. The New York Times describes the technology as “a single shared computer that is run by the network of users and on which resources are parceled out and paid for by Ether.”
Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference.
These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middle man or counterparty risk.
The project was bootstrapped via an ether pre-sale during August 2014 by fans all around the world. It is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit, with contributions from great minds across the globe.
What makes Ethereum different?
Ethereum is different than other coins because it doubles as a platform. Applications called smart contracts can be built on top of the blockchain, this gives Ethereum more purpose than simply being a currency.
The most popular crypto asset was Ethereum, accounting for 44 percent of the market value of altcoin, and is its main engine. During the summer, there were a lot of ICOs held, accepting investments in ETH. Such popularity influenced the rate: active growth to the historical maximum just before the start of the ICOs and the price drop right after.