The Ethereum Expedition
Updated: Jan 27
Happy Merge Day, everyone!
What better time than today to reflect on the road traversed by Ethereum and the associated ecosystem while we witness one of the most significant events in the Web3 world since the introduction of Bitcoin in 2009?
While no list can ever do justice to the exciting number of events that have transpired in the Crypto, DeFi, & the larger Web3 world, this is an attempt to capture some of the key milestones the community has witnessed over the last ten years.
Here's a flashback of the Ethereum Expedition. Enjoy!
To make things more interesting, here are some cool facts about Ethereum:
Ethereum has created $200B+ of market capitalisation in eight years. It also briefly crossed the $500B valuation mark in October 2021. For comparison, Uber IPO-ed in 2019 at $80B after ten years of existence.
Vitalik Buterin dropped out of the University of Waterloo at the age of 19 to create Ethereum and, in the process, joined a long list of illustrious college drop-outs such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Travis Kalanick, and several others to put a dent in the universe. For a change, this time, the dent was a decentralised one!
Vitalik worked with several Bitcoin-related initiatives such as Bitcoin Magazine, Colored Coins, Mastercoin, and even Ripple before authoring the Ethereum white paper.
The Ethereum Foundation has been pretty inclusive in its representation, with its first Executive Director being a woman: Ming Chan, a Swiss-born Chinese American MIT computer science and media arts graduate. Aya Miyaguchi is the current Executive Director at Ethereum Foundation.
According to several ancient and mediaeval science, aether (alternative spellings include æther, aither, and ether), also known as the fifth element or quintessence, is the material that fills the region of the universe beyond the terrestrial sphere. Vitalik wanted his platform to be the underlying and invisible medium for every application, just what mediaeval scientists thought ether was. That is how Vitalik ended up choosing Ether as the name of the fuel that runs the Blockchain Platform - Ethereum.
Of Ethereum's eight co-founders, only Vitalik Buterin is actively working on Ethereum.
Charles Hoskinson and Gavin Wood have started rival blockchains, Cardano and Polkadot.
Amir Chetrit and Jeffrey Wilcke have left to focus on other industries. Amir quietly supports various blockchain projects and is very low-profile. Jeffrey decided to leave Ethereum and establish a gaming studio, Grid Games.
Anthony Di Iorio left to take on the role of Chief Digital Officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. After that, he founded Decentral, the firm behind the Jaxx wallet. In 2021, Di Iorio sold his stake in Decentral and Jaxx and moved away from the crypto realm, citing personal safety reasons for the exit.
Mihai Alisie left to build his blockchain-based decentralised social media platform, Akasha.
Joseph Lubin is well-known as the creator of Consensys, which enables developers and enterprises to build modern financial infrastructure through the Ethereum product suite.
The Ethereum Foundation (EF) is a non-profit organisation supporting Ethereum and related technologies. The EF is not a company or even a traditional non-profit. Their role is not to control or lead Ethereum, nor are they the only organisation that funds the critical development of Ethereum-related technologies. The EF is one part of a much larger ecosystem.
What is ERC in Ethereum token standards? ERC is an acronym that stands for Ethereum Request for Comments. ERCs are application-level standards for Ethereum and can include token standards, name registries, library/package formats, and more. Anyone can create an ERC, but it is the author's responsibility to clearly explain their standard and foster support for it within the community. Below are the details of popular Ethereum token standards:
ERC-20 is used for fungible tokens, including transfer and balance tracking functionalities.
ERC-223 protects users from accidental contract transfers.
ERC-721 is the most popular non-fungible token (NFT) standard. While fungible tokens can be divided, non-fungible tokens can not. NFTs can be owned and transacted by individuals as well as consigned to third parties. NFTs can represent ownership over digital or physical assets.
ERC-809 is used to rent rival non-fungible tokens. An NFT is described as a 'rival' if its use/ownership by one individual prevents simultaneous use/ownership by other individuals. ERC-809 allows owners to rent access to their rival NFTs using a standard set of commands, and users can view all past and current rental agreements from a single wallet interface.
ERC-1155 is a token standard that enables the efficient transfer of fungible and non-fungible tokens in a single transaction.
ERC-1238 is a token standard that covers non-transferable tokens (or 'badges').
Ethereum witnessed its 'Pirates of the Ethereum' moment with the DAO hack in 2016. In July 2016, the Ethereum network hard-forked into two blockchains: Ethereum and Ethereum Classic. Ethereum Classic, the old chain, is still alive and has a market cap of $5B on 15 September 2022.
Ethereum 2.0, also known as Serenity, is just too serene. The initial plan was to roll out the Ethereum network in five phases in 2015. According to the plan, by the end of 2015, the final fifth phase – Serenity, was supposed to be launched. We are finally witnessing that happening in 2022.