Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency breaking records these days. Other cryptocurrencies have become very popular, including Ethereum. Ethereum recently reached a record high as it surpassed $410 for the first time since June. According to CoinMarketCap, it is currently trading at $442 and has a market cap of more than $42 billion. This 30% rise has helped Ethereum gain some ground on Bitcoin. Experts regard these two as the most promising alt coin currencies in the world of cryptocurrency. Ethereum’s rise this year alone as outpaced Bitcoin on a relative basis: in January 2017, the cost of one Ether was about eight dollars and, given current pricing, Ethereum has achieved a 5,500% increase this year.
What is Ethereum?
In simple terms, Ethereum is an open software platform based on the blockchain technology that allows developers to deploy a decentralized application. There are some similarities between Bitcoin and Ethereum: they are both a distributed public blockchain network. However, the two have distinct technical differences, primarily in capability and purpose. The Bitcoin blockchain is meant to track the ownership of digital currency whereas the Ethereum blockchain attempts to run the programming code of any decentralized application. Rather than seeking to mine for Bitcoin, miners in the Ethereum blockchain seek to earn Ether which is a type of crypto token that can be used by application developers to pay transaction fees for services on the network.
The Formation of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA)
This year the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance was established. The EEA brings together enterprises, startups, technology vendors and other experts to work on Ethereum as an enterprise-grade technology. Founding members of the EEA include Microsoft, Intel, and JP Morgan, to name a few. According to Microsoft, “Ethereum is evolving to address the needs of enterprises globally and continues to widen the scope of what developers, businesses, and consortiums can achieve.” Another member of the EEA, Infosys says “Ethereum had a promising architecture for smart contracts, scalability, and network security.” The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance has the potential to influence blockchain adoption globally.
The blockchain technology of Ethereum can increase the transparency in supply chains which would improve banking trade settlement latency and establish peer-to-peer markets without centralized intermediation. As more notable names look to join the Ethereum alliance, the credibility of the platform is likely to rise.