Today it has been six years since the introduction of the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. ether (CRYPTO: ETH).
The leading altcoin has risen in price over 234,000% since its inception and had a market cap of $ 275 billion at the time of writing.
The decentralized open source blockchain was first introduced to the world in a whitepaper by Vitalik Buterin in 2013, before it was officially launched two years later.
Above all, Ethereum pioneered the concept of executing smart contracts on the blockchain. It also introduced the ERC-20 token standard, where other crypto tokens could be built on the Ethereum blockchain.
This led to the creation of numerous altcoins that make up the majority of the crypto market today.
Over the past year, the Ethereum ecosystem has expanded significantly following the explosion of the decentralized financial industry (DeFi) and the massive boom in non-fungible token sales (NFT).
The total value of the DeFi logs at the time of writing was $ 67.8 billion, down from just $ 4 billion a year ago. Meanwhile, data from Non-fungbile.com showed that monthly NFT sales were around $ 3.4 million in July 2020, but now it’s topping $ 202 million.
Market proponents paying attention to these developments, including institutions, have appeared to favor Ethereum over Bitcoin in recent months, as the recent outperformance of several benchmark assets shows.
Ethereum will see some powerful changes to its protocol shortly. The upcoming London Hard Fork will see the implementation of EIP-1559 – an upgrade that will burn off some of the network’s gas charges, which will significantly reduce transaction costs.
The network’s transition to ETH 2.0, a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, will make it greener while increasing scalability and transaction speed.
At the time of writing, there are over 200,000 validators running nodes with 6.6 million ETH worth $ 14 billion involved in the ETH 2.0 deposit agreement.
Price action: Ethereum hit an all-time high of $ 4,362 earlier this year. At the time of writing, the leading altcoin was trading at $ 2,341, up 2.20% in the past 24 hours.