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History of Ethereum

Ethereum was conceived by 19-year-old Toronto native Vitalik Buterin, a programmer working on Bitcoin projects. Intended to be a robust platform enabling developers to build blockchain applications, Ethereum was inspired by some of the shortcomings Buterin faced when trying to do the same with Bitcoin blockchain. Convinced blockchain technology’s potential far surpassed financial applications, he quickly set out to develop blockchain capable of supporting more common computations.

Vitalik Buterin first gained exposure to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in 2011. Somewhat of a prodigy, that very year he co-founded Bitcoin Magazine for which he wrote many articles predicting the digital currency’s future. He then worked on Mastercoin and other digital coins based on the Bitcoin codebase. This experience led him to suspect Bitcoin’s blockchain was too limited in scope.

The Ethereum white paper was released in 2013. It documents a new open-source protocol for creating decentralized applications.   

Ethereum was finally officially launched on the Bitcointalk forum in 2014.

Learn more about the Ethereum Virtual Machine

In addition to Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founders include Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio and Charles Hoskinson. Developers Dr. Gavin Wood and Joseph Lubin have also joined Ethereum. Wood released the Ethereum yellow paper, which documents the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the runtime environment which executes all of the network’s smart contracts. Lubin would later go on to found ConsenSys, a venture studio focusing on decentralized applications.

The Ethereum Foundation proved the need for expansion

The Ethereum Foundation sold 60 million tokens during an ether crowdsale in July 2014. 12 million ether (ETH) tokens were created in order to enable the Ethereum Foundation to expand its development and marketing efforts. The Frontier was the first release of the Ethereum network. Released in 2015, it provided a bare-bones mechanism for developers to interact with and build apps on the network.  

Both the Ethereum network and community have expanded significantly over the past year.

The Ethereum Enterprise Alliance is an initiative working to connect the world’s largest companies to the Ethereum network which recently announced 86 new partners such as Microsoft, Intel and BP. Similarly, a multitude of new blockchain projects leveraging the Ethereum blockchain have gained both notable buzz and capital.

The Future of Ethereum.

Ethereum became more of a household name in early 2017 due to the price of ETH increasing by 1000 percent over the course of a couple months. This in turn led to an increase in value of alternative blockchain tokens, known as “altcoins.” New investors swarmed the market as Ethereum was featured in large media outlets like CNBC, Reuters and Quartz. Investors and developers now wait for the release of Metropolis, the next update to the Ethereum network which promises to abstract many functions and facilitate user-friendly application designs.

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