As I review blockchain technology in 2019—one platform continues to surface for business applications, and that is Ethereum. It is one of the fastest growing blockchain applications. Indeed, according to Stacey Schneider (Hackernoon) Ethereum is the market leader for enterprise adoption: 62% are using Ethereum for their blockchain projects.
While blockchain has gained in popularity with cryptocurrency, and in particular with Bitcoin—now in its tenth year—it has gone through wild swings of market ups and downs. Most business enterprises have not embraced cryptocurrency. However, with use case examples for smart contracts, Internet of Things, or supply chain applications of blockchain, industry has taken note of blockchain, and Ethereum in particular.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum, created in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, is now the second most valuable crypto coin in the industry. It was the first blockchain project to install smart-contract technology. Smart contracts allow users to enter into agreements online—eliminating the need for a third party. And—it was the first blockchain to include a programming language. (Ray King, BitDegree)
To help us understand Ethereum, a review of the internet is helpful. We know the internet as a function of internet browsers, blogs, or apps on our smartphones. We easily look up where we want to eat on Google. Once at a favorite restaurant we can reserve our table, leaving our name and cell phone number so the restaurant can text us when our table is ready.
We give companies and organization our personal data, passwords and financial information. All the data will be stored on other computers—in “clouds and servers owned by companies like Amazon, Facebook or Google,” write Alyssa Hertig for Coindesk.
While this system has a number of conveniences, the companies managing these systems deploy teams of specialists to help store and secure this data. However, this system comes with vulnerability. Hackers and nefarious actors can access your data without anyone’s knowledge. By attacking a third-party service, they can “steal, leak or change important information.”
Blockchain technology as a distributed ledger has the promise of being able to overcome these deficiencies. With the millions of nodes of distributed computers and devices the system is set up to be secure and hacker proof.
Want to know your stake coin? Got that!
Want to know if your #masternode is running? Yup!
More details soon!😁 pic.twitter.com/gJCCEutlbT
— Bulwark (@BulwarkCrypto) September 3, 2019
According to Hertig, Ethereum wants to be a “world computer that would decentralize – and … democratize – the existing client-server model.” The goal for Ethereum, she continues, is to replace servers in data centers and the cloud with thousands of nodes run by a community of global volunteers—thereby forming a “world computer”. Users will have the same functionality across the globe—enabling them to compete with services on top of this infrastructure.
State of Ethereum
According to ConsenSys Media , Ethereum has 216 developers per month working on total code and core protocol development. In January 2019, it enjoyed robust and consistent developer growth, averaging 240 active developers. Ethereum clearly stands out with an eight fold number of code projects over Bitcoin, and a 20 fold number of commitments over XRP. And, the balance of 2019 isn’t likely to slow down.
While Ethereum’s smart contract is attractive to industry, it should be noted that Ethereum has issues with scalability. With more using this platform, Ethereum will need to focus on overcoming issues of scalability. If they don’t, users will be looking for alternatives.
“To give you an idea of how limited it is, the NEO blockchain (which can also process smart contracts) can reportedly process up to 10,000 transactions per second,” writes King. “Unless the Ethereum developers resolve their scalability issue, then organizations might consider using other blockchains to host their smart contracts.” Ethereum is well aware of the issue and has deployed developers to solution this issue.
It is hopeful they will resolve it sooner, rather than later, continues King. Overall, “I think that the Ethereum blockchain is a very good project that will continue to dominate the smart contract sector in 2019.”
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As businesses and enterprises continue to look to blockchain for business solutions, it is clear that blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology is proving to provide solutions and to be an alternative to the current state of data management.
From supply chain, to fintech, to healthcare—smart contracts are integral to order fulfillment, agreements, payment schedules and more. Whether Ethereum will continue to dominate the smart contract use case market remains to be seen, but clearly it is a platform to watch.
Liked our article about Ethereum be sure to read another similar to this one above by clicking the link —> Blockchain Smart Contracts—Removing the Middleman