Bitcoin has revolutionised the way we view payments by decentralising the payments network, and has reached a market cap of (XX) trillion. Yet its chief drawback is that it cannot process transactions at a fast rate. This has led to concerns over whether the blockchain is a viable tool in contexts outside the payments space. This is where Ethereum comes in.
The Ethereum blockchain was built in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood, and has shown us a unique and revolutionary use case of blockchain: smart contracts. A smart contract is essentially a computing function that executes automatically where certain conditions are satisfied. The use of smart contracts allows individuals to build applications on the Ethereum blockchain, which has created a new ecosystem where programs can be built and executed in a decentralised fashion. These programs are called decentralised applications (dApps). The Ethereum blockchain has spawned a number of widely used dApps, primarily in the spaces of decentralised finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and blockchain games. The Ethereum blockchain can be used as a platform for people to launch their own tokens and projects. Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency (Ether) is used for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, whether for a pay-to-play game, a trade on a DeFi exchange, or for buying an NFT. The Ethereum blockchain enjoys extensive network effects: it is used by (XX) people, and enjoys a market cap dominance of (XX). Ether is an investment with no regulatory issues from the US: the SEC has announced that it has no intention to treat it as a security. It is accessible to both retail and sophisticated investors.