Ethereum is a decentralized open-source blockchain system with its own cryptocurrency, Ether. ETH functions as a platform for several other cryptocurrencies as well as for executing decentralized automated contracts.
Ethereum was first described in a 2013 handbook by Vitalik Buterin. Buterin, along with other co-founders, secured funding for the project in an online public sale in the summer of 2014 and officially launched the blockchain on July 30, 2015.
Ethereum’s stated goal is to become a global platform for decentralized applications, enabling users around the world to write and run software that is resistant to censorship, downtime and fraud.
Who are the founders of Ethereum?
Ethereum has a total of eight co-founders – an unusually large number for a cryptographic project. They first met on June 7, 2014 in Zug, Switzerland.
Russian-Canadian Vitalik Buterin is perhaps the best known of the group. He authored the original manual that first described Ethereum in 2013 and still works to improve the platform. Prior to ETH, Buterin was a co-founder and writer for the news website Bitcoin Magazine.
British programmer Gavin Wood is probably the second most important co-founder of ETH,as he coded the first technical implementation of Ethereum in the C++ programming language, proposed Solidity, Ethereum’s native programming language, and was the first Director of the Ethereum Foundation’s technology department. Prior to Ethereum, Wood was a researcher at Microsoft. He later moved to found the Web3 Foundation.
The other co-founders of Ethereum are: – Anthony Di Iorio, who wrote the project during its initial development phase. – Charles Hoskinson, who played the main role in creating the Swiss-based Ethereum Foundation and drafting its legal framework. – Mihai Alisie, who provided assistance in the creation of the Ethereum Foundation. – Joseph Lubin, a Canadian entrepreneur, who, like Di Iorio, helped fund Ethereum in its early days, and later founded an ETH-based startup incubator called ConsenSys. – Amir Chetrit, who helped found Ethereum but stepped away early in its development.
What makes Ethereum unique?
Ethereum revolutionized the concept of the blockchain smart contract platform. Smart contracts are computer programs that automatically perform the actions necessary to fulfill an agreement between different parties on the Internet. They are designed to reduce the need for trusted intermediaries between contractors, thereby reducing transaction costs while increasing the reliability of transactions.
Ethereum’s main innovation was the design of a platform that allowed it to execute automated contracts using the blockchain, which further strengthens the already existing benefits of smart contract technology. According to co-founder Gavin Wood, Ethereum’s blockchain was conceived as a sort of “computer for the entire planet,” theoretically capable of making any program more robust, resistant to censorship, and less prone to fraud by operating on a globally distributed public network.
In addition to automated contracts, Ethereum’s blockchain is capable of hosting other cryptocurrencies, called “tokens,” through the use of its ERC-20 compatibility standard. In fact, this has been the most common use of the ETH platform so far: to date, more than 280,000 ERC-20-compliant tokens have been launched. More than 40 of these are the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, e.g. USDT, LINK and BNB.
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How many Ethereum (ETH) coins are in circulation?
As of August 2020, there were approximately 112 million ETH coins in circulation, 72 million of which were issued in the genesis block – the first block ever on the Ethereum blockchain. Of this 72 million, 60 million were allocated to the initial contributors to the mass sale that funded the project in 2014 and 12 million were given to the development fund.
The remaining amount was issued in the form of block rewards to miners on the Ethereum network. The original reward in 2015 was 5 ETH per block, which later dropped to 3 ETH at the end of 2017 and then to 2 ETH at the beginning of 2019. The average time it takes to mine an Ethereum block is about 13-15 seconds.