Live Ethereum Price:Real-Time ETH/USD Exchange Rate Value
What’s in Store for Ethereum's Future? Experts Weigh In
Ethereum has been the number two cryptocurrency in the world (by overall market capitalization) for many years now. However, unlike Bitcoin, the digital asset can be used for purposes other than payments and value storage. For starters, the ETH ecosystem can be thought of as a foundational tool that can be used by developers to devise other coins as well as unique decentralized applications. With that being said, owing to Ether’s high liquidity quotient, the currency can be used to facilitate daily monetary transactions as well.
It also bears mentioning that Ethereum currently enjoys more base-pairing options than any other cryptocurrency not named Bitcoin. As a result of all these aforementioned niche' features, the crypto asset scaled up to its all-time high of around $1,400 early last year — a figure which experts are not sure if ETH can scale back to again (at least in the near future).
In this article, we will look at some predictions that have been made in regards to Ethereum by well-known industry experts. These views should not be taken as concrete investment advice and are meant to simply serve as pointers.
Also, in addition to all of the top Ethereum price predictions listed below, we have compiled the most comprehensive ETH coin price history timeline to show you all of the peaks and valleys, highs and lows of where the price of ETH has been thus far. So without any further ado, let’s get straight into the heart of the matter.
Top Crypto Experts Forecast Ethereum Price Predictions
- 1 Live Ethereum Price:Real-Time ETH/USD Exchange Rate Value
- 2 What’s in Store for Ethereum's Future? Experts Weigh In
- 3 Top Crypto Experts Forecast Ethereum Price Predictions
- 3.1 Olaf Carlson-Wee — Around $7,000
- 3.2 Michael Yuan — Optimistic about Medium-Term Prospects
- 3.3 Matthew De Silva — Worthless
- 3.4 Vaibhav Kadikar — $1,000 by 2020
- 3.5 Aayush Jindal — $500+
- 3.6 Jeff Reed — Will Cross Bitcoin’s Value
- 3.7 Craig Russo — Will Scale Back to ATH by 2021
- 3.8 Jeffrey Liu Xun — Drop to Double Digits
- 3.9 Steven Nerayoff — Around $2,500 (approx.)
- 3.10 CoinDesk — Between $100-$115
- 3.11 Mitesh Shah — $225 by Next Year
- 3.12 Chris McClure — Bullish
- 3.13 Robin Singh — Around $1,500 by 2020
- 3.14 Joseph Raczynski — A Little Over $1,000
- 3.15 Brian Schuster — As High as $100,000
- 3.16 Salvador Casquero Algarra — Strong Short-Term Outlook
- 3.17 Clem Chambers — Over $1,000
- 3.18 Nigel Green: Potentially Above $2,500
- 3.19 Bobby Ullery — $11,000 by 2020
- 3.20 Kyle Asman — Not Optimistic
- 3.21 Marouane Garcon — $1,000
- 3.22 Alexis Ohanian — $1,500
- 3.23 Tim Enneking — Gradual Value Depreciation
- 3.24 Ben Samocha — Strong Short-Term Outlook
- 4 What is Ethereum and Where is the Price Going in the Future?
- 4.1 What Makes Ethereum Different from Bitcoin?
- 4.2 A Brief Look Ethereum’s Origins
- 4.3 How do Ethereum Transactions Work?
- 4.4 Ethereum Price Timeline: ETH Token History Worth Noting
- 4.4.1 2013 — The seeds are sown
- 4.4.2 2014 (January) — Ethereum makes its formal debut
- 4.4.3 2014 (April) — Specification of the EVM released
- 4.4.4 2014 (July) — Ether token sale goes live
- 4.4.5 2014 (September) — ETH value keeps surging
- 4.4.6 2014 (November) — Etheruem’s dev community comes together at DEVCON-0
- 4.4.7 2015 (March – April) — Development continues as expected
- 4.4.8 2015 (July-August) — Launch of Frontier announced
- 4.4.9 2016 (March) — Another major update goes live
- 4.4.10 2016 (May) — Mainstream media attention continues to flow in
- 4.4.11 2016 (June -July) — The infamous DAO hack takes place
- 4.4.12 2017 (February) — Adoption continues to increase; Prices touch an all-time high
- 4.4.13 2017 (May) — Mainstream giants continue to join the EEA
- 4.4.14 2017 (July-September) — The ICO era kicks off
- 4.4.15 2017 (December) — Ethereum crosses the $740 mark
- 4.4.16 2018 (January) — All-time-high (ATH) value reached
- 4.4.17 2018 (March) — Value descent continues
- 4.4.18 2018 (April-May) — Token cap increases
- 4.4.19 2018 (Nov-Dec) — New lows experienced
- 4.4.20 2019 (February) — Network Upgrade
- 4.4.21 2019 (June) — Improved token standards
- 4.4.22 2019 (July-August) — Token supply cap mod
- 5 So What Lies Ahead for Ethereum (ETH)? Bust or Boom
Olaf Carlson-Wee — Around $7,000
Polychain Capital CEO Olaf Carlson-Wee has quite a positive outlook for Ethereum in the medium to long term. In an interview given by Olaf to Bloomberg a couple of years back, he told the media outlet that by the end of 2018 the price of Ether would surpass that of Bitcoin — something which we now know has not been the case. However, following the above-stated prediction, he then altered his outlook and claimed that the premier altcoin would scale up to a price point of around $7,000 within the next year or so.
The reason why Carlson-Wee is so optimistic about ETHs future is that he believes that the currency’s underlying technology is far ahead of everything else that is available in the market right now and that as time progresses, people will start to see the true technological and financial potential of this unique digital asset.
Michael Yuan — Optimistic about Medium-Term Prospects
Dr. Michael Yuan is the founder of OpenBay — a new decentralized marketplace — as well as the CEO of Second State, a global provider of smart contract-based business solutions. He recently told BitcoinExchangeGuide that he is quite optimistic about the value of ETH in the medium-term. The reason for this is because Ethereum’s overall network usage has gone up significantly over the past few months — primarily because Decentralized Finance applications are taking off and absorbing a lot of Ether tokens as deposits/stakes.
Over the long term, Yuan believes that the price of the premier currency will depend largely on whether the long-awaited ETH 2.0 upgrade goes smoothly. He further told BEG:
“A common pattern in the crypto market is that price increases (pump) in anticipating of a major event. As soon as the event actually happens, the price crashes as people sell for profit (dump). It is a highly unregulated and manipulated market. In terms of Bakkt, there is huge anticipation and then disappoint with its trading volume.”
Matthew De Silva — Worthless
De Silva is a crypto-journalist who has been skeptical of Ether for quite some time now. In the past, he has referred to the premier currency as being intrinsically worthless. His comments seemed to have ticked off Vitalik Buterin — the creator of Ethereum — so much that he recently took to Twitter to respond to De Silva’s unwarranted criticism. For starters, Buterin pointed out that there were clear advantages to using ETH as a means of paying for gas — since the fee was already baked into the protocol and that the network protocol supported it.
Vaibhav Kadikar — $1,000 by 2020
Vaibhav Kadikar is the Founder & CEO, CloseCross, a decentralized prediction market platform. Speaking with Bitcoinexchangeguide, he made it clear that ETH and BTC were decoupled on their fundamentals — with BTC being a long term store of value against ETH gaining value from the utility it provides to its users. He further pointed out that as Ethereum gradually transitions to a PoS framework, its scalability, as well as its overall utility, will improve drastically.
“Ethereum is the largest established blockchain with a smart contract layer and will likely continue its dominance with dapps continuing to be built on it with increasing complexity and scalability. I see the upward trend in demand for processing Ethereum transactions and hence the price will go up too. The value per ETH will most likely head to the $1000 mark towards the end of 2020 given the above developments and the POS rollout occurring in the first half of 2020.”
Kadikar then went on to add:
“ It is highly unlikely that ETH would gain a huge appreciation from thereon unless the gas rates are reduced and the network usage increases 100x. ETH is after all the fuel for the Ethereum network so it can’t be too pricey for people to use. So there’s a natural cap on its value. Think of people moving to electric if gas/petrol becomes too expensive to run their cars.”
Aayush Jindal — $500+
Aayush Jindal is a familiar name to those who have dabbled in the world of crypto trading. In the past, Jindal has worked for several media outlets where he has presented his views with well thought out price predictions that are based on facts and figures. In his estimation, most of the technical indicators that are currently associated with ETH will continue to remain negative insofar as the price of the currency continues to stay below the $515 mark. However, he did add that if Ether was somehow able to surge past this level, it could open the doors for a fresh new bull run.
“Overall Ether could consolidate in the short term, but it remains at a risk of more losses until there is a break above $515.”
Jeff Reed — Will Cross Bitcoin’s Value
Our first bold prediction for Ethereum comes from cryptocurrency author and independent analyst Jeff Reed who believes that Ethereum will surge in the long term — so much so that the asset’s value will easily go beyond that of Bitcoin’s. The reason for Jerry’s insane optimism is that he believes the ETH ecosystem is much better equipped to handle the challenges (especially those pertaining to scalability, ease of use, divisibility, etc) that may arise in the future when compared to any other currency available in the market today.
Another reason why Reed is so optimistic about Ethereum is because of its smart contract capabilities — which he believes is a real game-changer. On the subject, he points out that this single feature alone makes Ethereum more valuable than BTC.
Craig Russo — Will Scale Back to ATH by 2021
Russo, who is the founder of Peer — a Boston-based startup behind the popular crypto and gaming media outlet SludgeFeed — believes that Ethereum will continue to be the go-to platform for deploying decentralized applications and tokenizing real-world assets. In this regard, one of the most recent examples is the tokenization of four real estate funds worth $100 million by blockchain startup Harbor.
Additionally, Russo also points out that while Ethereum enjoys a healthy market dominance, other competing smart contract platforms are beginning to gain momentum (especially as their networks continue to mature). This fact coupled with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the project’s transition to a proof-of-stake network makes it quite clear that Ethereum has some important years coming up ahead. In terms of Ether’s future valuation, Russo told Bitcoinexchangeguide:
“At the current time, I do not see any reason why Ether (ETH) won’t revisit all-time highs by 2021 if Ethereum progresses as it plans, and developers continue to build on the network. I believe ETH/BTC has perhaps already bottomed and ETH/USD will begin a new uptrend once Bitcoin’s volatility slows down.”
Jeffrey Liu Xun — Drop to Double Digits
Xun is the CEO of XanPool — a P2P fiat gateway that is instant and does not require customers to take any custody risks. He told Bitcoinexchangeguide that Ethereum is currently in a terrible situation which will most likely see the premier crypto coin continue to its financial descent, especially if the value of Bitcoin keeps dropping as well.
“Yes that means double digits, and we may even see ICO prices again. Fundamentally, it faces many problems internally and externally. Internally, Ethereum 2.0 is expected to launch Q12020, but in reality, it won't be possible. at least not in the target state that OG ethereum guys are pushing for. If anything launches it will likely be a skeleton of the original vision with much work left to be done…. Eth 2.0 will require computer science breakthroughs like breaking CAP theorem… that is unlikely to be done by a bunch of JS web developers.”
In addition to this, Xun also points out that most of Ethereum’s founding team has, by this point, either already jumped ship or cashed out of their ETH into BTC and fiat.
“Externally Ethereum faces steep competition from cheaper ‘world computer' shitcoins like EOS, NEO, Cardano, ZILLIQAA, TRON, etc….. And it faces competition from networks that haven't even launched yet like Polkadot (of which ETH OGs have joined)”
Steven Nerayoff — Around $2,500 (approx.)
Nerayoff is the co-creator of Ethereum. In a recent sit-down with CNBC, he told the media outlet that he expects 2019 to usher in big things for the premier cryptocurrency. This is because the ETH ecosystem has witnessed an exponential increase in the number of projects that have been built atop its core framework. Not only that, the number of independent developers dabbling with Ethereum to create their very own, unique dApps has also increased quite substantially over the past 12 months.
CoinDesk — Between $100-$115
The analysis team over at Coindesk has rightly pointed out that the price of Ether will most likely struggle for the foreseeable future. However, if the digital currency can break past its immediate resistance levels, it will be able to stabilize once again — if not, the currency could very well slip past under the 100 dollar point.
Mitesh Shah — $225 by Next Year
Shah is the Founder/CEO of Omnia Markets. In an email to Bitcoinexchangeguide, he highlighted some of the trends that might affect the price of Ether in the future.
“Due to the recent drop in prices across the board, followed by a minor market correction, personally I believe that ETH will stay relatively stable around the USD$175-$185 price range. In the short to medium term, as the market slowly regains its momentum, I believe that ETH will grow back to the $200+ levels it experienced in mid-September. Further, I believe that the industry, in general, will likely reenter the bull market and prices will again grow next Spring, and as regards ETH, I believe this will lead it to the $225+ range that it experienced last May, June, and July.”
Chris McClure — Bullish
Chris McClure is a cryptocurrency advocate who has been a part of this burgeoning space for quite some time now. McClure currently holds an advisory position at BitTaxer along with being a member of the Icelandic Blockchain Foundation. In his view, owing to various technological advancements such as sharding, plasma, and OpenST Mosaic, there currently exist several reasons for people to be bullish on ETHs future financial prospects. And while McClure did not give an exact number to back his predictions, he did add say that Ether’s fortunes will turn for the better by the end of 2019.
Robin Singh — Around $1,500 by 2020
Robin Singh is the founder of Koinly, a cryptocurrency tax software startup. In a recent conversation with Bitcoinexchangeguide, he told us that ETH is still following Bitcoin in terms of market prices — i.e. any drop/increase in BTC seems to have a similar effect on Ether. He also pointed out that the recent flop of Bakkt Futures has resulted in a drop in BTCs price and subsequently also ETHs — with the latter dropping by over $50 within a week.
However, the future of Ether looks bright to Singh, especially since ETH's developer community has been growing and there are a lot of promising projects on the horizon. This, according to Robin, signals positive price movement for the premier crypto coin. Not only that, but the anticipated release of ETH v2 might also result in ETHs value rising by early next year.
“The great thing about the next ETH is that the price of master nodes will be significantly lower so the barrier to entry goes down – meaning ETH becomes more decentralized. The Ethereum network will also be able to process a larger number of transactions at lower fees due to the upgrades.”
Singh then further added:
“As for price predictions, the price is likely to stay at the $170-190 range for the rest of the year while next year will see a significant shift upwards to about $300-400. As for the long-term future, crypto is growing both in reach and market-cap. The next major milestone will be the launch of Libra, which could be a paradigm shift for the cryptocurrency industry – imagine 4 billion people having easy access to a cryptocurrency. The price could well go higher than the highs of 2017 to about $1500 by the end of next year.”
Joseph Raczynski — A Little Over $1,000
In an interview with Finder last year, Joseph Raczynski — the founder of JoeTechnologist.com — stated that owing to the overall utility and implementation capacity of the Ethereum project, he would not be surprised to see ETH scale up past the $1,000 mark by the end of this year. However, because the second-largest crypto asset (by total market capitalization) is currently trading for just over $170, it will be interesting to see if Raczynski’s prediction holds up.
“Nearly all large organizations are testing on this platform.”
Brian Schuster — As High as $100,000
The Founder of Ark Capital LLC, Brian Schuster, believes that much like Bitcoin, Ether to is an excellent long-term store of value (SOV). In his opinion, it would not be surprising to see the premier asset’s overall capitalization soar to around the $10 trillion mark — which would mean that the price of a single ETH token would rise to a mammoth price point of around $100,000. If that wasn’t enough, Schuster is also convinced of the fact that there is a real possibility that one day Ether will be able to replace all of the other currencies (both fiat and digital) that are in circulation today. This is because he believes that Ethereum is one of the few decentralized platforms that can be deployed on a large-scale and can tackle many of the scalability issues concerning most other big-name cryptocurrencies.
Salvador Casquero Algarra — Strong Short-Term Outlook
Algarra is the founder of 2gether — a collaborative financial platform that seamlessly joins the world of FIAT with crypto. In an exclusive interview with BEG, he pointed out:
“ With the introduction of Casper, we have the fact that right now there's no limit on ETH issuance. To me, we will have a worldwide acceptance of cryptocurrencies pretty soon, so I would say that in the short/medium-term price ETH will go up from a technical or sentiment analysis. For the long run, I would say that it will go down to make the technology accessible to everybody or will take the risk of being disrupted as it has happened with every single business we know.“
Clem Chambers — Over $1,000
Forbes columnist/CEO of ADVFN Clem Chambers is quite optimistic about the future of Ethereum. In his opinion, the digital asset will most likely stay afloat above the $1,000 mark in the near future — a prediction that might not be able to come true, especially when considering the fact that 2019 is already coming to a close and the price of ETH is still stuck around the $170 – $225 price range.
Nigel Green: Potentially Above $2,500
Green is the CEO of deVere Group as well as a crypto analyst in his own right. Last year he spoke with MarketWatch regarding the future of the crypto market and told the interviewee that he believes Ether has the potential to climb up to a price point of around $2,500 by the beginning of 2019. However, he did concede that owing to the intense volatility that is being experienced by this market sector at large, it would not be surprising to see his prediction fall flat on its face.
Nigel’s optimism regarding Ethereum stems from several different factors such as:
- An increasing number of digital platform operators using the ETH ecosystem to facilitate their trades and exchanges.
- More and more people beginning to make use of ETH based smart contracts
- The use of Ethereum allowing for the decentralization of cloud computing.
Bobby Ullery — $11,000 by 2020
Well respected crypto analyst Bob Ullery believes that within the next couple of years, Ethereum will take over at least 25% of the global crypto market with ease. As a result of this, the price of a single token could easily scale up to around $11,000 (by the end of 2020). There is still quite some time left for this prediction to run its course, so it will be interesting to see how things pan out for the premier digital currency.
Kyle Asman — Not Optimistic
Kyle Asman is a founding partner at BX3 Capital. In his view, the price of ETH is going to either remain stagnant or continue to slide during the next six to twelve months. In an email to Bitcoinexchangeguide, Asman pointed out:
“Ether hasn’t really shown it can be independent of the price of BTC and right now, the two are super correlated. The price of ETH was driven by ICOs on the Ethereum blockchain, which obviously don’t exist anymore. I just don’t think there is a whole lot of demand in the marketplace. There has to be a catalyst to bring new buyers to the marketplace and we have yet to see one. I think once we see a major company issue a digital token or a regulatory bill being passed here in the US, we will see some market upside.”
Marouane Garcon — $1,000
Managing Director of Amulet Marouane, Garcon believes that Ethereum has the potential to reach a price point of $1,000 — however, this prediction is based largely on the successful implementation of Ether’s much-hyped Casper framework.
Alexis Ohanian — $1,500
The Reddit co-founder believes that while Ether can scrape back up to the $1,500 mark by the end of this year, its intrinsic framework isn't devoid of its drawbacks.
Tim Enneking — Gradual Value Depreciation
Tim Enneking — Head of Digital Capital Management — believes that there currently exist no apparent reasons that could push the price of Ethereum in an upward direction anytime soon. However, that does not mean Enneking does not see a bright future for other digital assets such as Bitcoin.
Ben Samocha — Strong Short-Term Outlook
Ben is the CEO & Founder of CryptoJungle.co.il. In his estimation, Ethereum has some exciting times ahead of itself — at least in terms of the currency’s price action. He recently told Bitcoinexchangeguide:
“After attending Ethereal TLV and listening to Vitalik Buterin and Joe Lubin on stage, I've learned they have a lot in motion for H1 2020, as the transition to Ethereum 2.0. reaches its final stages. In terms of tech and financial incentives, I fear for ETH's long term future. However, the market will most likely not be able to price it in, FOMO and ‘dumb money' will likely return and price will return trending upwards.”
Additionally, he also pointed out that because the Ethereum ecosystem currently has the largest number of active developers (as well as tons of institutional investment), it is quite safe to assume that there'll be a lot of interest amongst the masses in becoming stakers on Ethereum 2.0. In the same breath, he also highlights the fact that ETH is now down almost 90% from its USD ATH, and thus it would be surprising if some serious accumulation activities were not going on behind the scenes.
(Disclosure: Ben currently works for a crypto PR & marketing agency as well as runs his private independent publication house, therefore his views are solely to be treated as his and his alone.)
Now, let's check out the historical Ethereum price timeline and map out where the price of ETH has been so far in is multi-year career.
What is Ethereum and Where is the Price Going in the Future?
Now that we have wet your appetite and delivered all of the most respected ethereum price predictions we could find, it's time to take it back to square one day one and recap exactly what Ethereum is, how ETH works, and share some insights on the historical timeline of the ether coin price.
Before we get into any of the intricacies related to Ethereum, it is best to understand the fundamentals of the top-10 cryptocurrency. In its most basic sense, Ethereum can be thought of as a distributed world computer that is open-source, decentralized and features a public blockchain. Not only that, but it also comes replete with a number of highly specialized features related to Turing-complete smart contract functionality (a concept which we look at in detail a bit later in the article).
The Ethereum project is essentially the brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, a Russian computer scientist who devised a blueprint for his novel blockchain system all the way back in 2019. Ethereum as a platform has been designed to leverage the power of its native blockchain to store and execute computer programs across a wide array of nodes that may be distributed all over the world. As a result of these capabilities, Ethereum’s associated token offering (the ETH) has become one of the world’s most well-known crypto assets — as is highlighted by the fact that ETH currently has the second-largest market cap of any cryptocurrency available in the market today.
What Makes Ethereum Different from Bitcoin?
Often times, people tend to compare the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum because of their surface similarities, and the fact that they have been the number one and number two coins by market cap since ‘crypto became a thing'.
However, a closer look at the two digital assets shows us that apart from their use of blockchain technology, the two currencies are quite different. For starters, their employment of blockchain is quite dissimilar since Bitcoin uses the tech to track the ownership of digital assets; whereas the Ethereum ecosystem is more concerned in using the technology for running programming codes associated with various dApps.
Another key point of difference between the two is that while Ethereum makes use of smart contracts, Bitcoin does not. Smart contracts can be thought of as computer protocols that can digitally facilitate, verify and enforce pre-decided terms of a conventional agreement (i.e. execution of credible transactions) without the use of a third-party moderator.
Other key dissimilarities include:
Owing to the relative newness of Ether, it is estimated that by 2021, only half of ETH’s total token supply would have been procured by mining enthusiasts all over the world. In the same breath, more than 55% of Bitcoin’s supply (21M tokens) has already been mined.
Another separating factor that makes the two projects unique from one another is their use of different mining algorithms. For example, while Bitcoin makes use of centralized ASICs, Ethereum deploys an algorithm called Ethash that allows for decentralized mining to take place in a relatively easy, hassle-free manner.
A Brief Look Ethereum’s Origins
Ethereum’s history has had a major impact on the crypto-sphere as we know it today. The project’s original explanatory whitepaper was shared by Vitalik Buterin during the latter half of 2013. In the paper, he outlined the creation of a distributed world computer that would be capable of utilizing the true potential of blockchain technology. Not only that, but he also described at length the ability of his envisioned system to help facilitate the creation of decentralized applications (dapps) such as:
- On-chain digital assets (ERC-20 tokens)
- DEX — aka decentralized exchanges
- On-chain identity and reputation systems
- Smart contracts
Smart contracts, in particular, are viewed by many people as being Ethereum’s primary USP. As mentioned earlier, they are essentially self-executing programs that facilitate the transfer of value on the project’s native network — the data for which is immutably stored on the blockchain. The contracts are only executed when certain specific conditions are fulfilled without the need for any third-party interference or censorship.
Another core feature of Ethereum is the “Ethereum Virtual Machine” (EVM) — which is basically a Turing-complete software that has been designed to function atop the ETH network and facilitate the running of various digital applications (irrespective of their original programming language). As a result of this, the Ethereum ecosystem presents its user base with the potential of creating an extremely wide array of decentralized applications.
Now with some of the technicalities out of the way, we can talk about the early development phase of Ethereum. Work on the project reportedly began during the first few months of 2014, a time when Vitalik assembled a small team of visionary tech entrepreneurs (including big-names like Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, and Mihai Alisie). The project’s initial development started at a firm called Switzerland GmbH and later through a Swiss non-profit organization called the Ethereum Foundation. During this time, Joe Lubin (who at the time affiliated with GmbH) too started to help Buterin out in a variety of different ways and is thus considered by everyone as being one of the primary co-founders of the Ethereum project.
Around Q2-Q3 2014, Ethereum underwent a successful crowd sale that was able to garner a whopping sum of $14 million within a period of just two months. Not only that, a couple of months later, Ether tokens (the digital currency affiliated with the project) were distributed amongst investors, the development team and the Ethereum Foundation. By July-2015, Ethereum’s first main-net (called Frontier) was launched to the public for mainstream consumption. Over the next eight months or so, the first update (referred to as Homestead) to the system was implemented and was widely considered by the global crypto community to be more stable than its predecessor. The upgrade focused on several things like gas pricing, security, and transaction processing. However, at the time, a number of people still claimed that Ethereum was prone to many security lapses despite its immense operational and economic potential.
The DAO Episode
By late 2015, the Ethereum project had been able to gather enough mainstream traction, something which helped spur the creation of The DAO — a decentralized autonomous organization that was meant to serve as an investor directed VC fund. It was able to raise a whopping $150 million via contributions from many different people across the globe (it is estimated that more than ten thousand individuals were involved in the fundraiser). Owing to the DAOs’ novel use of self-executing smart contracts, many tech experts thought that it could serve as an ideal decentralized investment vehicle.
However, in June 2016, the DAO was infamously compromised when third-party hackers were able to find a small loophole in its code — as a result which, they were able to steal around $50 million of the raised funds and move them into a separate DAO (known back then as the Dark DAO). Once news of this reached the public, other users with enough technical prowess too started to exploit the aforementioned vulnerability and started to divert the remaining funds into a third DAO.
The result of these developments was that the crypto community became highly polarized, with one end of the spectrum, pushing for a hard-fork of the Ethereum blockchain so that the hackers could be prevented from accessing the stolen funds while the other side cited the immutability of the blockchain and its core tenet of “code as law” (so as to prevent any changes being made to the ecosystem). In the end, Buterin took to Twitter to announce that a fork had become imminent and thus the world bore witness to the birth of Ethereum Classic.
Over the last couple of years, a vast number of firms, devs, miners continued to make use of the forked Ethereum chain which is currently the 2nd largest currency (by total capitalization) in the market today.
Lastly, following the above stated DAO hack, the Ethereum blockchain underwent a few important upgrades, with the most significant one being the “Metropolis – Byzantium” implementation which essentially sought to lay the foundation for the projects eventual transition to a Proof-of-Stake framework.
So How Does the Platform Really Work?
As mentioned in an earlier section, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is one of the core operational components of the Ethereum platform. In its most basic sense, it is a Turing-complete software that has been designed to execute digital scripts across a distributed network of computers such that it can facilitate the execution of smart contracts, DAOs, etc. Additionally, it also bears mentioning that Ethereum is designed to help in the creation of dApps, games, distributed registries, and a host of other applications.
Advantages and Downsides
Ethereum as a stand-alone digital platform provides its users with a wide array of benefits. So, in this section, we will also look at some of the projects core advantages when compared to other similar systems.
Immutability: When it comes to a platform as sophisticated as Ethereum, third-party entities cannot make any changes to the system’s native blockchain. Not only that, the platform is completely censorship-resistant since it makes use of a PoW consensus algorithm.
Privacy and Security: Owing to its use of a Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm as well as other advanced cryptographic techniques, the Ethereum ecosystem does not feature a central point of failure — thereby, making the platform highly secure and resistant to external intrusion and hacking attempts.
No Downtime: All of the dApps, smart contracts that are running atop the Ethereum blockchain at any given time cannot be turned off by any single entity or network participant.
With the advantages out of the way, let us now look at some of the disadvantages of this platform.
Vulnerable: As mentioned previously, Ethereum is a Turing-complete platform as a consequence of which it is susceptible to certain niche’ smart contract-related vulnerabilities that can be exploited by people with sufficient knowledge of such matters. In this regard, even the infamous DAO attack that has been described in detail earlier was caused due to a lapse in Ethereum’s smart contract security.
Long Term Stability/Scalability: Another concern that has become more pertinent over the years is Ethereum’s scalability potential. For example, many experts have commented that in an effort to scale up the platform, developers will have to compromise on certain aspects of the project such as security and decentralization. And while certain Ethereum-related scalability solutions are currently being devised by various dev teams across the globe, issues related to low-throughput capacity and high gas costs still loom as heavily as ever.
How do Ethereum Transactions Work?
Ethereum’s design is quite straightforward, such that for facilitating monetary transactions, the platform makes use of an account-based model (unlike the UTXO model employed by Bitcoin). From a technical perspective, we can see that the global state of Ethereum is split up into a number of 20-byte addresses where each tx is deemed to be a state transition.
Each Ethereum address contains the following four fields:
- The nonce
- Ether balance
- Contract code
Additionally, there are two types of accounts associated with Ethereum — externally owned accounts, and contract accounts. As the name suggests, externally owned accounts are operated by users who are in possession of their associated private keys. They do not contain any code and can be used to create and sign transactions. Similarly, contract accounts are basically smart contracts that are governed through the use of codes and other privacy tools.
Other Core Concepts Worth Worth Exploring
(i) Ethereum Mining: Much like how other digital currencies (such as Bitcoin) are procured, Ethereum mining too makes use of certain basic procedures that are common with many of its digital contemporaries. However, there are a few differences that need to be pointed out. For example, when compared to Bitcoin mining, the ETH blockchain not only stores a copy of its native transaction list but also data related to its network’s most recent operational state.
Another core difference worth pointing out here is Ethereum’s use of Patricia Trees rather than the conventionally used Merkle Tree infrastructure (which is used for blockchain state regulation). For those of our readers who may not be aware of what Patricia Trees are, they are essentially a more efficient way of storing and adjusting the state of each block within a particular crypto ecosystem.
Additional data related to ETH mining worth bearing in mind:
- 12 second block time
- Ethash Mining Algorithm (Uses DAG)
- Block Reward of 3 ETH
(ii) PoW Consensus Protocol: As mentioned earlier, Ethereum makes use of an altered version of the Nakamoto Consensus Proof-of-Work (PoW) model. This protocol is extremely safe to use and consists of multiple decentralized nodes that are spread out across the globe. Additionally, mining activities that are carried out within the boundaries of this model make use of an algorithm called Ethash (DAG). With that being said, many of our readers may be aware of the fact that this setup is soon going to be changed when the upcoming Casper upgrade goes live. As a result of the update, the Ethereum platform will move from a PoW setup to a Proof-of-Stake consensus model.
(iii) Smart Contracts & Dapps: One of Ethereum’s most appealing facets is the fact that it provides its users with the ability to develop and deploy novel decentralized applications in a highly streamlined, hassle-free manner. Not only that, but it also allows devs to create their very own ERC-20 tokens through the use of the aforementioned EVM.
In terms of how smart contracts are developed, they are devised primarily through the use of a programming language called ‘Solidity’. However, it bears mentioning that various developers working closely with the Ethereum project are now looking to make use of a Beta programming language known as Vyper (so as to simplify many of the complexities that are currently involved with the creation of smart contracts).
(iv) Scalability: Through the use of novel techniques such as off-chain processing, sharding, various individuals across the globe are looking to mitigate many of the scalability issues that are currently associated with Ethereum. If these problems are successfully tackled, developers will be able to create new avenues for monetizing their creations — thereby opening up a totally new paradigm of app development for people all over the world.
Ethereum Price Timeline: ETH Token History Worth Noting
2013 — The seeds are sown
During the first half of the year, a young Russian-Canadian college student named Vitalik Buterin introduces the concept of Ethereum to a select few individuals who he thinks will be able to understand the immensity of his vision. A few months later, he presents the global tech community with a detailed whitepaper containing the basic premise for several niche’ concepts (DAOs, smart contracts) that are now part of common crypto vernacular all over the world.
By the end of 2013, Buterin starts discussions with a number of prominent developers (such as Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson) regarding the creation of a fully functional blockchain platform that will help bring his vision to life.
2014 (January) — Ethereum makes its formal debut
During the first quarter of 2014, the concept behind Ethereum is formally presented to the world at the North American Bitcoin Conference which was held in Miami. It is here that Vitalik tells crypto enthusiasts that he will be joining forces with Dr. Gavin Wood, and Jeffrey Wilcke to help him with his development-related activities.
2014 (April) — Specification of the EVM released
A few days into April, Vitalik goes ahead and publishes a host of specifications related to the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Not only that, but he also provides the world with the first functional implementation code for the EVM in seven different programming languages.
2014 (July) — Ether token sale goes live
During the month of July, the world bears witness to the launch of the first ETH token sale — wherein a total of 60,102,216 Ether is off-loaded to the public. By the end of the sale (which concluded in August), the Ethereum Foundation is successful in raising a whopping total of $14 million.
2014 (September) — ETH value keeps surging
By the start of Q4 (2014), the value of ETH begins to surge quite rapidly, thereby creating a huge wave of investor interest all over the globe. Not only that, by September, the project’s presale investors have received a total of 60 million tokens (as part of the pre-determined distribution scheme.)
2014 (November) — Etheruem’s dev community comes together at DEVCON-0
As part of the DEVCON-0 conference, a number of Ethereum enthusiasts/developers from all over the world come together in Berlin. At the meeting, they discuss a wide array of subjects related to the project as well as present their ideas on how to make the platform more reliable, secure and scalable.
2015 (March – April) — Development continues as expected
After a relatively uneventful start to the year, during the month of April, the world is made privy to the DEVgrant program which offers developers from all over the globe with funds for several Ethereum related projects.
2015 (July-August) — Launch of Frontier announced
During the last week of July, one of Ethereum’s core updates (referred to as ‘Frontier’) is implemented, thereby making it one of the project’s first important milestones to be met. The development also helps spur more interest in the project from the global crypto community.
Additionally, it is around this time that DEVCON-1 is hosted in London as a five-day event. The event is quite lavish when compared to its previous iteration and features presentations from more than 400 independent developers. Not only that, the conference is also attended by representatives of various big-name companies including UBS, IBM and Microsoft. Owing to the success of DEVCON-1, the word blockchain starts to become part of mainstream tech lingo all over the globe (especially within crypto circles).
2016 (March) — Another major update goes live
During the first half of March, Ethereum’s core dev team decides to go ahead and implement their latest protocol update (referred to as Homestead) to the platform’s native blockchain ecosystem.
2016 (May) — Mainstream media attention continues to flow in
During mid-2016, a number of media outlets start to take notice of Ethereum’s future monetary potential, especially as the DAO is able to raise a whopping sum of $150 million via its month-long crowd sale event.
2016 (June -July) — The infamous DAO hack takes place
The month of June sees a group of hackers exploit a loophole associated with the Ether DAO, thus making their way with more than $50M worth of ETH almost overnight. This incident, later down the line, also serves as the core catalyst for the Ethereum ecosystem being hard forked into two different chains — namely, ETC and ETH. If that wasn’t enough, this episode also resulted in many key players associated with Ethereum Classic distancing themselves from the project.
2017 (February) — Adoption continues to increase; Prices touch an all-time high
During the month of February, the launch of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) is announced. The core members of the EEA include several big-name entities such as Microsoft, Accenture, Ernst & Young.
2017 (May) — Mainstream giants continue to join the EEA
Within just four months of its launch, the EEA continues to rope in more high-profile members. Not only that, even the price of Ether continues to soar, with the value of the premier digital asset closing out the month over the $200 mark.
2017 (July-September) — The ICO era kicks off
Many people still argue that Ethereum was one of the primary catalysts for the bull run that took place in 2017. This is best highlighted by the fact that at the start of 2017, the currency was being traded for a meager price point of around $8.23 whereas, by the end of the year, a single ETH token had become worth $742. Another phenomenon that took the world by storm during the latter half of 2017 was the rise of Initial Coin Offerings (aka ICOs) — a fundraising avenue that allowed startups to gather money for their projects without having to rely on established financial institutions such as banks.
However, as we all know now, the quality of many of these ICO projects was shady to say the least — so much so that the market was eventually caught in a bubble that resulted in many people losing their hard-earned money.
2017 (December) — Ethereum crosses the $740 mark
By the end of 2017, Ethereum’s financial ascent seems almost unstoppable — with the premier cryptocoin witnessing gains of more than 70% over a period of just 20 days.
2018 (January) — All-time-high (ATH) value reached
During the third week of January, Ethereum scales up to its ATH of $1,432 — a feat that the digital currency has not been able to replicate ever since. However, shortly after this phase, ETH starts to experience massive volatility and begins to drop in value quite rapidly.
2018 (March) — Value descent continues
Within just a couple of months of reaching its financial apex, Ethereum scales down to a relative low of around $400. And while the value of the top-10 altcoin would once again rise a little over the next month or so, the currency would never again even come close to crossing the $300 mark.
2018 (April-May) — Token cap increases
Despite Ethereum’s value falling quite considerably between Q2-Q4, the project continues to increase in popularity all over the globe. Not only that, during April, Buterin brings in an Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) to bring the currency’s total supply cap up-to the 120 million region.
2018 (Nov-Dec) — New lows experienced
By the end of December, Ethereum scales down to under the $100 mark, something that has not happened to the premier digital asset in over a year and a half. Around this time, many analysts are predicting that within the next couple of years, Ether will drop into the single-digit range.
2019 (February) — Network Upgrade
During the first half of February 2019, the ETH ecosystem undergoes the “Metropolis Part 2: Constantinople” hard fork. Not only that, the platform also bears witness to another network upgrade (St. Petersburg) which occurs at block number 7,280,000 on February 28, 2019.
2019 (June) — Improved token standards
By mid-2019, in addition to ERC-20 tokens, the Ethereum project also finalizes support for several other token standards including ERC-721and ERC-11
2019 (July-August) — Token supply cap mod
During the first week of July, Ether’s total supply cap lays at 106.7 million. In this regard, it is expected that, as and when, Casper FFG and CBC go live, the currency’s current inflation rate will fall to around the 0.5% – 2% range. Last but not least, it bears mentioning that there currently exists no hard cap on the total supply of ETH. Such is not the case with Bitcoin, which has a hard cap of 21 million coins.
So What Lies Ahead for Ethereum (ETH)? Bust or Boom
When it's all said and done, estimating the future worth of a digital asset such as Ethereum is much more complex when trying to assess the price of a pure spending/value coin, like Bitcoin. This is because Ethereum’s real value lies in its overall technological potential and not in the asset being an extraordinary SOV.
Also as mentioned earlier, Ether serves as the perfect basis for many lesser-known coins as well as other unrealized decentralized applications — primarily because of its smart contract capabilities. In this regard, some of ETHs core selling points include:
- The premier digital asset can be used for daily spending as well as development purposes.
- Ether uses a framework that is much more scalable and uniform in its long term outlook.
- Many of the fundamentals exhibited by ETH seem to be stronger when compared to other premier assets such as Bitcoin, XRP, etc.
Be sure to check out the Bitcoin Price Predictions list to see how they compare to all of the ETH/USD Ethereum price predictions above.
I'm Aziz, a seasoned cryptocurrency trader who's really passionate about 2 things; #1) the awesome-revolutionary blockchain technology underlying crypto and #2) helping make bitcoin great ‘again'!