When Bitcoin burst onto the scene in 2009, it challenged preconceived notions about the limitations of transactions. Fast-forward 8 years, and another..
When Bitcoin burst onto the scene in 2009, it challenged preconceived notions about the limitations of transactions. Fast-forward 8 years, and another platform is dominating the headlines. Ethereum has built on Bitcoin’s potential and is driving a revolution in financial transactions.
Ethereum is an open-source platform that facilitates the development of next-generation decentralized applications. It was conceptualized in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, who at the time was conducting research within the Bitcoin community. Since Buterin’s initial ideation, Ethereum has grown in interest and scale; today it is poised to overhaul open-source development.
Bitcoin opened the world to the possibilities of shared ledgers, and now Ethereum is expanding on that potential. According to Buterin, “Ethereum uses many of the same systems (such as blockchains and peer-to-peer networking) in order to generate a shared-world computing platform that can flexibly but securely run any application users want to code (shared ledgers like Bitcoin included) .”
Since Bitcoin’s debut on the world stage, many developers have sought to apply the ideology to new systems similarly underpinned by blockchain technology. However, these iterations failed to impact the tech and financial-services communities because they were limited to a few functionalities.
The intent of Ethereum is to transcend those limitations by creating a blockchain protocol with its own native programming language, which enables any application to be written on top. This structure supports all existing and future applications and lends itself to an environment of constant and immediate development innovation.
Although Bitcoin birthed Ethereum, in the past year, Ethereum has eclipsed its predecessor in terms of future promise. In March 2017, Ethereum’s digital currency, Ether, reached an all-time high of $30, boosting the market cap of Ethereum to $2.57 billion.
Another facet that sets Ethereum apart from Bitcoin is the support Ethereum continues to receive from the financial and technological communities. Companies have recognized the immense power of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency to boost security and efficiency, and they are joining the party. Institutions like Microsoft and JPMorgan have pledged their support to the development of Ethereum through the formation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. The purpose of the alliance is to ensure the potential of Ethereum is realized across industries.
Companies involved in the alliance are working toward creating a standard, open-source version of Ethereum, which will serve as a blueprint for all adaptations. JPMorgan is already working on implementing its own Ethereum-based system to facilitate the seamless transfer of funds between global JPMorgan branches.
Although many organizations are invested in leveraging Ethereum to serve as a basis for privatized versions, the overarching goal is that one day, each institution’s private networks will be connected to the global Ethereum blockchain. This will establish a new universal benchmark for information transactions.
Although Ethereum has enormous potential to create a more secure and streamlined global transactional system, to concentrate on what is yet to come is to overlook the changes Ethereum is already enacting. Early Ethereum adaptors are driving innovation through decentralization. Here are some of the ways today’s cutting-edge businesses are applying Ethereum to solve existing problems and create future solutions.
Increase Protective Measures around Online Consumer Data
Identity theft is a constant concern across today’s global landscape. Organizations and individuals are increasingly aware of impending threats to digital security.
One company, KYC-Chain, is tapping into Ethereum to help businesses safely onboard new customers, blending simple identification processes and know-your-customer regulations. KYC-Chain’s solution empowers customers to manage their own identities by sharing only necessary information.
KYC-Chain protects user data on the platform through a series of cryptographic protocols. The platform allocates responsibilities to “trusted gatekeepers” who have been given clearance to retrieve and authenticate customer documents.
Enhancing Crowdfunding Capabilities and Transparency