Ether, the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency, has been hitting new highs ahead of a big upgrade to its underlying platform, Ethereum (ETH).
Ether is currently valued at slightly around US $500 billion (£363 billion) in the total market cap. That’s still less than half of the value of the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
But, could this improvement, which is a critical step toward a much greener and speedier version of the present system, propel Ethereum to the top of the internet and make ether the most valuable cryptocurrency?
To begin, it’s critical to comprehend the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency that allows people to send money to one another without the use of banks. It is based on blockchain technology, which is an online ledger in which transactions are verified and recorded by a decentralized network of computers called validators.
Validators are compensated for their efforts by obtaining newly created bitcoins, a process known as “mine.” To add to the appeal, bitcoin is relatively rare: there are only about 18 million coins in circulation, and the protocol states that there can never be more than 21 million.
Ethereum is comparable to Bitcoin in that it functions in a similar fashion, but it is not the same. It’s an open-source software platform that developers are using to create thousands of blockchain-based applications all over the world.
This means that these applications can all run independently of a company’s control. Cryptocurrency exchanges, insurance systems, and new types of games are just a few examples.
Smart contracts, which are automated agreements that ensure that money and assets change hands when certain conditions are met, are at the heart of the platform. Ether is used in all transactions on the network, and the site’s success is why ether has been the second-largest cryptocurrency after bitcoin for the past few years.