Ethereum is a programmable platform with an internal currency dubbed “ether” (ETH). While Bitcoin scripting is limited by design in order not to clog the blockchain with inefficient programs. Ethereum was the first blockchain platform to support a “Turing complete” programming environment, which is able to implement all sorts of smart contracts.
And is now the blockchain of choice for sophisticated applications in the financial sector and beyond. Recent examples of ambitious, nonfinancial applications include the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, distributed computing and even NASA space networks.
In November 2017. Ethereum inventor and co-founder Vitalik Buterin outlined his vision for “Ethereum 2.0.” Buterin described major changes in Ethereums architecture that are likely to be implemented over the next few years to improve Ethereum in terms of scalability, privacy, security and energy footprint. Buterin also said that Ethereum could switch from pure PoW to a hybrid PoW/PoS model in a forthcoming release.
Enhanced throughput (or scalability) is probably the most critical improvement (over todays Bitcoin and Ethereum) that cryptocurrencies can seek to achieve to become real forms of digital cash. In January. Zilliqa. a next-generation, high-throughput blockchain development project, released the first alpha version of its source code. Zilliqa is not operational yet. but its definitely worth watching.
Bitcoin and Ethereum can be used as anonymous cryptocurrencies, but only if the users really know what they are doing.
Finally, its important to note that in the last couple of years a new family of cryptocurrencies has emerged: tokens that dont have their own blockchains but live on existing blockchains as special entities with independent features and valuation.
The early development of cryptocurrencies has been strongly inspired by the libertarian, crypto – anarchic mindset of the cypherpunk movement Bitcoin and Ethereum can be used as anonymous cryptocurrencies, but only if the users really know what they are doing. Most users dont and there are ways to de-anonymize their BTC and ETH transactions. Therefore, some privacy-oriented digital currencies, such as Zcash (ZEC). Monero (XMR) and DASH, can be expected to continue to rise in popularity and value. Zcashs “zero knowledge” privacy technology, which has recently been integrated in Quorum. JPMorgans enterprise version of Ethereum. permits showing transactions to specific parties while hiding them from public view.
In September 2017. blockchain development firm IOHK, led by mathematician Charles Hoskinson. launched Cardano, a new programmable blockchain with support for smart contracts. Ada (ADA), the platforms native cryptocurrency, is traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cardano is widely considered as one of the most promising and innovative blockchains. growing fast. For supporters. Cardano represents a new blockchain phase beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum. in which features such as scalability, interoperability and on-chain governance play key roles.
Finally, its important to note that in the last couple of years a new family of cryptocurrencies has emerged: tokens that dont have their own blockchains but live on existing blockchains as special entities with independent features and valuation. The first cryptocurrencies of this type were known as “colored coins” on the Bitcoin blockchain. but most modern cryptocurrencies are ERC20 tokens, tokens that comply with a specific set of rules so that they can live on the Ethereum blockchain. It seems plausible that independent cryptocurrencies could be launched on the Cardano blockchain as well.
These days, there is no shortage of new cryptocurrencies launching, both spurred by and looking to advance beyond Bitcoin. Some have made the crypto ecosystem a better place and some have only added more detritus. Determining whether or not a given cryptocurrency is something that you want to invest in is a matter best left up to each individual investor. But with a knowledge of the coins that came first and an understanding of the vision and technology behind a given cryptocurrency, investors will be able to reward the tokens that are changing the decentralized world for the better.