It all started in 2012 when 19 years Old Russian programmer Vitalik Buterin conceived the idea of Ethereum and started working towards achieving his lofty dreams. A co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine, Vitalik dropped out from college, to pursue this dream of creating the innovative crypto currency we have come to know today as Ethereum.
Vitalik began drafting the Ethereum whitepaper in mid 2012 and the white paper was eventually published in late 2013. On 23 January 2014, Vitalik announced the start of Ethereum project on the popular Bitcointalk forum.
Ethereum pioneered what’s known as an Initial Coin Offering, selling to initial investors about 60 million Ether tokens while the project was still at developmental stage.
Vitalik was assisted by co-founder Dr. Gavin Wood, who wrote Ethereum’s “technical bible.” This book outlines the specifications for the Ethereum virtual machine (EVM), which handles the state of the ledger and runs smart contracts.
Another co-founder, Joseph Lubin, went on to found ConsenSys, a start-up that focuses on building decentralized apps (DApps).
In July 2014, Buterin and his co-founders launched a crowd funding campaign in which participants purchased Ether as shares in the project. The campaign raised more than $18.0 million and, within a year, they set up a smart contract platform on which developers could create their own decentralized apps.
The smart contract platform took off, creating an ecosystem of hundreds of developers and even drawing the attention of tech giants like IBM and Microsoft Corporation.
What is Ethereum?
At the fundamental level, Ethereum is a software platform based on Blockchain technology. The platform allows for the building and deployment of decentralized applications like Smart Contract.
Until very recently, building Blockchain applications used to require significant resources and a specialized understanding of coding, and cryptography. But, thanks to Ethereum and its tools to build decentralized applications, previously unimagined applications can now be actively developed and deployed faster than ever before.
Ethereum is an open Blockchain platform that allows anyone build and use decentralized applications that run on Blockchain technology. Like Bitcoin, no one controls or owns Ethereum – it is an open-source project built by many people around the world. But unlike the Bitcoin protocol, Ethereum was designed to be adaptable and flexible. It is easy to create new applications on the Ethereum platform, and with the Homestead release, it is now safe for anyone to use those applications. One may wonder why Ethereum is becoming so popular. The fact remains that Ethereum is so valuable because it’s the most developed network (right now) for running decentralized applications and smart contracts.
Another reason behind its soaring popularity is the fact that Ethereum made itself not to be a currency but a platform. This is why you see most of the newer coins being developed based on Ethereum or working off Ethereum’s blockchain.