Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third party interference.
Ethereum is a public blockchain-based platform that enables the development of decentralized applications (dApps) and smart contracts. It provides a decentralized virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes.
Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called “ether”, which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. “Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.
Ethereum was proposed in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale that took place between July and August 2014. The system went live on 30 July 2015, with 11.
9 million coins “premined” for the crowdsale. This accounts for approximately 13 percent of the total circulating supply.
The ethereum network went live on 30 July 2015 with 72 million ether pre-mined for the crowdsale (which was over by then). This amounts to about 13% of the total supply in circulation.
The remaining supply is mined through Proof-of-Work (PoW) mining, with a block reward that reduces over time.
The PoW mining algorithm used is Ethash, which is ASIC resistant. This means that Ethereum cannot be mined with specialized equipment, making it more accessible to a wider range of people. The block time is set at 14 seconds, and the block reward decreases over time according to the following schedule:
Block Height Block Reward
0-1920000 5 ETH + fees
1920001-3840000 4 ETH + fees
3840001-5500000 3 ETH + fees
5500001-7200000 2 ETH + fees
7200001-8895000 1 ETH + fees
8895001+ 0.75 ETH + fees
The total supply of ether is not capped and it is not expected to reach its maximum until around 2060. After this point, mining will continue to be possible but will no longer result in the creation of new ether.
So where is the safest place to buy Ethereum? While there is no definitive answer, we can make some generalizations based on the above information. First, because Ethereum cannot be mined with specialized equipment, it is more accessible to a wider range of people. This decentralization makes it less likely that any one person or group could control 51% of the network and manipulate it for their own benefit. Second, Ethereum has a fixed total supply which will be reached around 2060.
This means that there is no inflation built into the system, making it a more stable investment than some other cryptocurrencies which experience high levels of inflation when new coins are created through mining rewards. Finally, because Ethereum uses Proof-of-Work mining, it consumes a significant amount of electricity; estimated at around 3 gigawatts annually. This environmental impact must be considered when choosing where to invest your money.