Ethereum is one of the major cryptocurrencies in use today. With a market capitalization of $20.8 billion, it is the second most valuable digital currency after Bitcoin. Ethereum is a distributed ledger platform that specializes in running code for developing applications. These digital applications (called dapps) use the blockchain to track activities and store records of transactions without a central authority. One key feature of the platform is the ability to issue smart contracts, says Pablo Soria de Lachica, which allow the automatic exchange of payment for goods or services. Like all transactions using blockchain, these contracts are tracked on the distributed ledger and cannot be tampered with.
Users mine Ether on the platform, a token that can be used as payment for services on the network. The currency is much faster to acquire than Bitcoin, with a unit of ether taking 15 seconds to mine compared to 10 minutes for bitcoin. Although Ethereum is most common name used to refer to the blockchain, there is a distinction between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. The division can be traced to an incident in 2016 when hackers stole $50 million from a project on the blockchain named The DAO. This breach of trust led to a philosophical split in the community. While transactions on the ledger are immutable in theory, the inability to protect investments would have damaged the credibility of the cryptocurrency.
The majority of users voted for a “hard fork” in the chain, which entailed changing the code to help investors recover their stolen funds. However, there was enough dissent around this decision that two blockchains emerged: Ethereum Classic for users that disagreed with alterations to the distributed ledger under any circumstances, and Ethereum for users that agreed the stolen funds should be retreived. Currently, both chains operate separately, with records leading up to the hard fork identical on both platforms. Although similar volumes of Ethereum and Ethereum Classic currencies are in circulation, their values are substantially different due to a large disparity in price, says Pablo Soria de Lachica. As of October 2018, Ethereum was valued at $202, almost 20 times above its classic counterpart.
Both versions of Ethereum offer the ability to create dapps that serve needs beyond currency transactions. Distributed ledger technology has enabled the decentralization company operations, paving the way for members-only, corporate blockchains. The potential for commercial applications is driving investment in the space. In 2016, JPMorgan Chase launched Quorum using the Ethereum platform. JPMorgan expects the dapp will reduce administrative costs of financial settlements and increase privacy protection in the banking industry. Microsoft is offering Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) to create private, public and consortium-based blockchains, while integrating other technologies such as machine learning.
Pablo Soria de Lachica is an internationally recognized foreign exchange specialist. He collaborates with Kartoshka, a global leader in technological solutions for sales, telemarketing and customer support. Soria de Lachica received his MBA from Universidad Tecnológico de México. In his spare time, he is an active supporter of various non-profit organizations, including the Boy Scouts and Delta Epsilon Sigma programs. He is also a contributor to the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix.
Pablo Soria de Lachica Discusses Projections for Ether Price Movement against USD: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3906148