Ethereum (ETH)

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Ethereum was the first cryptocurrency which featured a Turing-complete programming language to execute smart contracts on a blockchain. It is one of the most ambitious ‘Bitcoin 2.0’ technologies. The ethereum team introduced several new technologies to blockchain tech that have made it one of the most successful projects out there. Most significantly, the programming language Solidity allows developers to write code for complex transactions that aren’t supported by the Bitcoin protocol. Ethereum also uses a custom hashing algorithm called Ethash that is ASIC resistant. Due in a large part to their smart contract technology, ethereum has become a popular platform to build Dapps, DAOs and launch meta-tokens.

Unique Features

Solidity and Smart Contracts

Solidity, the programming language used in Ethereum to code smart contracts, is Turing complete. This means, theoretically, smart contracts could be infinitely complex and the Ethereum network would still be able to execute it. In practice, the execution of a smart contract happens as long as the contract has enough fees to cover the network resources it utilizes.

Solidity is a high level language that is something between JavaScript and C++ but with specific features and additions for programming smart contracts. Solidity allows for testing features like static code analysis and has a built-in testing environment. The high-level Solidity code is later compiled into byte code that gets uploaded on the Ethereum blockchain.

Transaction Fees

Ethereum has a much more comprehensive fee system than other cryptocurrencies, since it supports not just basic transaction types but arbitrarily complex ones via its smart-contracts. The fees are based on the computational and memory resources required to execute the smart contract. Consult the Ethereum fee guide for a more detailed explanation.

Transaction fees in Ethereum are denoted in ‘gas’ which is the fuel for the smart contracts to run. The price of gas, converted to Ether, is a variable amount depending on the price of computational resources and the price of Ether.

ASIC Resistant

Ethereum uses Ethash as the hashing algorithm. Ethash was derived from Dagger-Hashimoto but has undergone a lot of changes in the process. Ethash was specifically chosen as the hashing algorithm to make it more ASIC resistant, since the algorithm consumes nearly the entire available memory access bandwidth. The algorithm is also GPU-friendly for mining.

History and Launch

On September 2nd, 2014 Ethereum’s 42-day public crowdsale ended. They raised 31,591 Bitcoin, worth over $18 million at that time of the sale’s close. However, the Ethereum foundation ended up with a lower dollar value because of a subsequent drop in the price of Bitcoin before the foundation decided to sell their Bitcoin.

Beginning in the Fall of 2016, the Ethereum network started to experience a significant denial of service attack. These attacks resulted in the Ethereum foundation initiating a number of hard forks that split the network into two currencies, Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.

Attributes

Consensus: PoW with plans to switch to PoS in 2017

Hash Algorithm: Ethash

Block creation time: 15-17 seconds

Launch condition: Pre-sale and ICO

Total Supply: Uncapped

Inflation Rate: 18 Million Ether per year

Blockchain: Ethereum

SOURCES

  1. https://www.ethereum.org/
  2. https://github.com/ethereum/wiki/wiki
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethereum

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