A long time has passed since cryptocurrencies and the Blockchain technology first arrived on the scene. There are now countless alternate coins (altcoins) competing for users and a leading position on the market. Some of these coins are basically dead on arrival, while others, such as Litecoin, Dash, Ripple, MaidSafeCoin, and Monero, sustain and become a subject of great interest to speculators, investors, and everyday users who want to get in on the action as early as possible. Whatever the case may be, most cryptocurrencies are quite similar in their design and usage – except for Ether.
Before we go any further and tell you where to buy Ether and what are some of the best wallets and exchanges, it’s important to understand how this application hosting platform can revolutionize the world we live in today. If you are looking for an ELI5 (Explain like I’m 5) version, there is an infographic here.
Ethereum, commonly referred to simply as Ether, builds upon the Blockchain technology first introduced in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto and his release of Bitcoin. This decentralized technology offers distributed consensus across the entire network and it could be used as a secure backbone for absolutely everything we do.
Government money could be programmed to be used for one purpose and one purpose only, as a form of payment, but smart contracts powered by Ethereum, on the other hand, could prevent fraud and thereby, guarantee that both parties fulfilled their end of the bargain without the need of an arbitrator. Business applications across platforms would run as they were intended without possibility of government censorship, downtime, or third-party interference.
All of this is because Ethereum features a complete programming language that can be used to add logic to individual transactions and infinitely expand what’s possible with the platform. Augur, a fully-decentralized, open-source prediction market platform built on the Ethereum, is a fantastic first example of just one of many future possibilities enabled by this technology.
Ethereum was first described in 2013, and its Blockchain launched in mid-2015. It has since then quickly gained in popularity and is now one of the most desired and valuable cryptocurrencies on the market, with a market cap of $770M (as of March, 2016).
In the next section, we will give you a closer look at how you can buy Ethers, which are used as a token/form of payment in the Ethereum network (similar to Bitcoins on the Bitcoin network), and become part of this important technological revolution.