Proposed in 2013 and released in 2015, Ethereum was an overnight success. In 2016, a major hack eroded about $50 million worth of ether, thus causing its value to tumble by nearly 60 percent. The ultimate result of the hack was a hard fork that produced Ethereum Classic and the Ethereum that is widely accepted today.

Ethereum elevates the decentralized internet that gave rise to its own development. This technology seeks to streamline digital transactions through a specialized network of nodes, which provide support for a system that is capable of complex applications. Ethereum’s platform helps make digital transactions feasible and practical for everyone.

However, it is important to note that ether is not synonymous with Ethereum. Ether is the token used by the Ethereum platform. To make the concept easier to understand, ether can be likened to fuel, which powers every operation that takes place within the Ethereum network. The concept of fuel is what truly differentiates this platform from others. Ether has no inherent limitations while other cryptocurrencies do. Because of this, operations can be distinctly weighted and fuel can be used as needed. The outcome is a network with lessened constraints.

Furthermore, Ethereum is more complex than other crypto platforms. Ascertaining a cryptocurrency’s total number of coins is typically an easy task. However, the number of ether are much harder to determine. This is due to the varying weight of operations within the network. Additionally, developers can adjust the flow of ether into the system with less regard than conventional blockchains.

Ethereum revolutionized cryptocurrencies with the Etherbrowser. Peer-to-peer messaging, along with a programing language, expand how cryptocurrencies can be used. This inspired new projects that would otherwise not exist. Financial institutions show strong interest in these projects. While they require more complex transactions than the original blockchain, smart contracts demonstrate far-reaching applications. Not only do smart contracts benefit transactions within the financial community, but also for those industries represented by the markets.

At the onset, when Ethereum entered the crypto space, many saw it as a better investment than the original blockchain. Designed to fill its inadequacies, Ethereum gave hope to many people who can now apply the technology much easier. It promises faster transactions alongside the complex programming needed to bring real world applications to market. Ethereum has held onto its number two position behind the original blockchain while becoming the backbone of a new generation of ICOs.