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Ethereum is considered the second - after Bitcoin - most stable digital currency. Called Bitcoin 2.0, it is its biggest competitor. It is also the first currency not related strictly to banking and money transfers, which has been so successful on the digital exchange market, giving rise to a network of tokens based on the Ethereum platform.
To fully understand why Ethereum was created and what problems it solves, it is worth considering the way the Internet works "behind the scenes". All registered personal data, passwords and information are stored on third-party computers - in the cloud and on the servers of companies such as Facebook, Google or Amazon Web Services. The hosting company charges a fee for "sharing space" on its server and storing data. Of course, this solution has many advantages. First of all, the data is looked after by a team of specialists who care about their safe storage, processing speed and backup. In theory, it is an extremely convenient and practical solution, but it is difficult to call it "perfect".
The growing technological consciousness of the society makes the outdated, centralized design of the Internet encounters sharp criticism from new players in the IT industry and users. Brian Behlendorf, the creator of the Apache Web Server, hailed the fundamental principles of the functioning of the global network as the "original sin" of the Internet. Communities wants to decentralize the Internet with the use of new tools, including blockchain technology. It was this movement that gave rise to Ethereum. Unlike Bitcoin, which was a response to PayPal's limitations and online banking, Ethereum uses a blockchain to replace third-party websites through a peer-to-peer network operating under an intelligent contract.
The digital currency seen on every ETH exchange, or Ether, acts as a "fuel" for applications running on the Ethereum platform. How does it work? Let's go back to the example of hosting companies for a moment. Each new content, deletion or modification on the site involves changes in the registry and data migration. The hosting provider includes the cost of implementing these changes into a regular rental fee for the network space. Modification of data in the Ethereum system proceeds in a similar way, but the settlement system is completely different. Nodes in the network process all changes, making the computing power of connected computers available. For each processed data block, a fixed amount of Ethereum is paid in the form of transaction fees charged from users of the application. Hence the accuracy of the fuel metaphor - every action made in the Ethereum network "burns" the required amount of ETH to propel the system.
The "world computer" described in Ethereum's plans would affect the solution of numerous problems of the existing client-host model. Clouds and servers have been replaced by nodes run by volunteers from around the world. Each node in the network works on transaction processing, "freezing" the appropriate amount of Ether needed for the operation. The new infrastructure means that the user does not risk losing and selling data as long as the Ethereum platform is running smoothly. A great example is the multi-functional Google Drive or iCloud service. Both store files and data in the same way as in the case of hosting companies - their owner is a company (Apple or Google) who can access them at any time, for example for marketing purposes. Creating a decentralized ETH-based application would mean that all stored data would belong only to the User. In addition, with the introduction of the Casper protocol, Ethereum will introduce an additional security that will secure not only data stored in applications, but also their owners.
Thanks to a practical adoption, which (on such a scale) does not offer any other digital currency, Ether has a real value, which grows with the development of the Ethereum network. The most popular way to buy cryptocurrencies is the Ethereum exchange, where exchange is conducted for fiat currencies. The ETH/BTC rate, although rarely exchanged, is interesting to numerous investors, who are increasingly choosing to operate with digital currencies more often. The Ethereum rate has had numerous ups and downs in its history. This is perfectly illustrated by the first half of 2017 - on January, the price of ETH was around one dollar, or about 0.002 of Bitcoin then, followed by a period of stable growth. The breakthrough date proved to be 19th of May 2017, when Ether for the first time exceeded 100 USD (0.05 BTC) per coin. The Ethereum/Bitcoin rate reached its peak, three times higher, in just a month. The price of one ETH was then 0.15 BTC, or about 2500 dollars.
Ethereum continues its development by introducing one of the most modern solutions on the market. In the first half of April 2018, ETH market capital amounted to 5 490 220 BTC. Stability and the solutions offered make it securely on the second position in the cryptocurrency ranking, chasing Bitcoin. Currently, almost every decent digital exchange market allows operations in the ETH/BTC rate, treating both of them equally seriously.