Ethereum celebrated its fourth birthday yesterday.
Four years ago, on July 30, 2015, the world’s first universal blockchain platform went into operation. The platform known as Ethereum was the first of its kind to have a Turing-complete virtual machine and native programming language capable of serving code of any algorithmic complexity.
“Before Ethereum, developers had to design and write extremely complex software,” says the blockchain researcher Mihailo Bjelic said CoinDesk. “Ethereum introduced a generic programmable layer that abstracts this entire process and allows developers to build decentralized applications by just writing the core logic of their applications.”
According to new data from the investment company Electric Capital, around 800 active developers build on the Ethereum blockchain every month.
“This means that the Ethereum ecosystem is experimenting an order of magnitude more than almost any other ecosystem,” said Avichal Garg, founder of Electric Capital.
This means that Ethereum is no longer the only universal blockchain in the world, and according to some metrics, it is also no longer the most active. The latest quarterly report from Dapp.com shows that Ethereum is still the first choice for developers, while other decentralized application platforms (dapp) like Tron and EOS outperform Ethereum in the number of active dapp users.
Many industry watchers are therefore wondering where Ethereum will be in another four years. In the face of rapidly growing competition, will it maintain its lead as a universal blockchain platform?
Eric Conner, founder of the information site ETHHub and product researcher at the blockchain startup Gnosis, said:
“I think in four years Ethereum will overcome the toughest parts of its ambitious goals in terms of proof-of-stake and scale. From that point on, the network will be able to accommodate more users and we will grow beyond the use cases we see today. “
Both the proof-of-stake (a comparatively more environmentally friendly version of the current consensus algorithm for Ethereum) and the scaling are bundled in an ambitious upgrade called Ethereum 2.0, which many, not just Conner, want to complete in the next four years of Ethereum’s existence.
Anthony Sassano, Head of Marketing and Growth at Ethereum-based Startup Set Protocol:
“I believe that Ethereum will achieve the original vision of a world computer in the next four years, as Ethereum 2.0 will have completed its rollout. We will have mature scaling solutions (at all levels) and suitable data protection solutions. “
The future of Ethereum as money
At the same time, experts have to say that in the coming years not only the core bottlenecks in technology that limit transaction throughput and efficiency will need to be addressed in relation to Ethereum. Others inside and outside the Ethereum community say that Ethereum will also have to face the challenges associated with its monetary identity over the next four years.
Yaz Khoury, director of developer relations at the Ethereum Classic Cooperative (which helps build the protocol for Ethereum’s sister chain, ETC) said:
“[Ethereum] is still struggling with a monetary identity. It’s less of a cryptocurrency and more of a dapp market and network. “
Ryan Sean Adams, founder of another crypto investment firm called Mythos Capital, sees Ethereum as a digital currency in four years.
“In four years it will be clear that ETH is not a utility coin, but money. A programmable store of values, ”he said. “Borrow, borrow, trade, save. Each of these protocols will be a public protocol in the Ethereum economy. “
Because of this, MakerDAO’s Conti believes Ethereum 2.0 and scalability issues aren’t all that important for the protocol’s immediate future.
The continued growth of decentralized financial applications is against it.
Mariano Conti, Head of Smart Contracts at the MakerDAO Foundation, said via email:
“I firmly believe that what we have right now, even if Ethereum 2.0 is significantly delayed, is good enough to have proper decentralized funding for the next three or four years. I expect more companies to pay their employees streaming salaries in DAI. … I also expect (fear) that the first big DeFi hack will take place soon, and one should watch out for that. “
What Ethereum Investors Are Saying
On the other hand, big investors in Ethereum say they don’t worry about how the platform will change in the next few years. On the contrary, the advances in the last four years of Ethereum’s existence have only proven that they are cementing the edge of technology.
“Ethereum has made development a lot easier for developers,” said Linda Xie, founder of Scalar Capital. “Language, tools and infrastructure have been improved. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s a lot easier to build an application now than it was in the early days. “
Adams of Mythos Capital estimates that Ethereum has generated token assets worth nearly $ 15 billion to date. These assets will continue to grow in popularity and add even greater value to the Ethereum platform in the years to come, says Adams.
“We’re also seeing a first generation of [decentralized finance] Logs [on ethereum]There was $ 500 million tied on credit and exchange protocols for the past 18 months, “Adamas said via email. “These protocols form the banking layer of this new open financial system.”
2019 alone was and is an inspiring year for Ethereum, said Paul Veradittakit, partner at Pantera Capital, the oldest US Bitcoin investment firm that has invested in over 20 different Ethereum-based startups to date.
“The Ethereum community has been focused during the bull runs and maintained confidence during the crypto winter,” Veradittakit said, adding:
“This focus on building really pays off and the ecosystem is healthier and richer as a result. So many great Ethereum projects are being launched this year and it was incredibly inspiring to see them. “
Vitalik Buterin Image via CoinDesk Archive