Ethereum is one of the leading blockchains, securing the second place for a really long time. Though it has been through a lot of criticism lately, it is still going strong. So, let’s take a look of what Ethereum has been through and how it manages to stay on top for such a long time.
The Happy Beginnings
Back in 2013, Vitalik Buterin realized the potential of blockchains and decided to come up with something that would allow application development. Initially proposing the idea to Bitcoin who rejected the idea of pushing a scripting language for it to make the development of applications on the blockchain possible. Too bad, this one rejection led to the development of a strong competitor.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, amirite?
To raise money, Ethereum reached out to the crypto community. They sold Ether (tokens of future Ethereum blockchain) to future users and investors in exchange for bitcoin. This is how they raised 18.4 million USD.
Ethereum had set its roots in the crypto market.
For most of you who don’t what forking is; it is basically when someone suggests an update and some of the people reject it. This creates a divide in the blockchain and splits them into two. To read up about it in more detail, click here.
Most hard forks are planned as part of the upgradation process. So, here’s a rundown of the famous three that caused major changes for Ethereum.
Ethereum Classic was the first hard fork in the Ethereum blockchain. It was caused when in 2016 when a decentralized pooling fund called a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), built on Ethereum was hacked.
The difference in ideologies is what caused all of it. The developers had a choice between either; one, accepting that the hack had occurred and nothing can be done, two, implementing a hard fork and wiping the transaction so hackers could not run away with the money.
Both the sides had their arguments but the majority of the community did not support the latter idea as it would set an “unhealthy precedent” in the future. Being immutable is the very principle of a blockchain and that was compromised.
However, the core developers felt like it was the right thing to do so they went ahead with it. This led to a split between Ethereum as reversing the transaction would require them to change the underlying codes.
So, here it was, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. Ethereum was supported by the core developers and the majority of the community while Ethereum Classic was supported by a small community.
A lot of people credit the survival of Ethereum Classic to Barry Silbert who apparently owns a large stake in Ethereum Classic and being the famous, influential figure in the crypto community has kept the fork running.
With the current situation of Ethereum, there has been a considerable amount of debate going on regarding its speed and scalability issues. EtherZero was meant to fix most of these problems. Its aim was to offer thousands of transactions per second with zero fees! It was a rather far-fetched dream that many have questioned.
EtherZero was set to launch on Ethereum’s block number 4936270, which occurred on January 20th, 2018. There are the supported features:
- Two-Layer Network System: EtherZero aims to eliminate the gas that is required to power the transactions. It has opted to add another layer as a means of enabling transactions that take place on the chain.
- 0 TX Fee
- Instant Payments and High Scalability
- Autonomous Community Governance System: Rather than a central body solving all disputes or making decisions about the future direction if the chain, there will be a governance system that has democratized means of implementing solutions.
- Masternode System: This system is part of the increasingly popular Proof of Stake consensus algorithm. Simply put, voter approves the blocks on the chain depending upon on how large their stake is in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The primary feature that it boasts about are the instant payments to one another with shocking speed without any sort of fee or compensation. It seems like EtherZero is really bagging on these two claims for its popularity and success.
Unlike the former two, this is actually a planned hard fork by the core Ethereum developers. Metropolis is an update or enhancement of the current Ethereum blockchain. It’s similar to getting an update on your smartphone’s operating system.
Ethereum is divided into four stages according to its roadmap. Metropolis is the third one which focuses on the scalability of the network and offers other improved features such as; increased anonymity and smart contract upgrades.