Ethereum at 5: Insiders Applaud Network’s Contribution to DLT Industry
Of the many different types of blockchains that exist, with their various properties, Ethereum has stood out as an opensource blockchain owned by everyone for the past five years. This classification is what Consensys thinks distinguishes Ethereum from other networks and cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, a single application of blockchain technology, as it marks its fifth anniversary on Thursday July 30.
From 80% of 300-year old central banks now researching to adopt blockchain-based payments systems like central bank digital currency according to the Bank for International Settlements, to 32 of the Forbes Blockchain 50 projects this year built on Ethereum, the platform’s growth has been phenomenal in the distributed ledger technology (DLT) industry. Its maturity has seen it host over 160,000 ERC-20 token contracts on the network, mostly created in early 2018 for the initial coin offering (ICO) boom, for which Consensys notes that a similar number of ERC-20 tokens has been created in 2020 – though without the price volatility experienced in late 2017 and early 2018.
The co-founder at Clear, Eran Haggiag, sees the past five years as having moved Ethereum from a playground for crypto and ICOs towards a more mature financial infrastructure through DeFi. “Now, we are seeing enterprise Proof-of-Concepts maturing into production networks. Looking to the future, in the next five years, I believe DLT will become a pivotal infrastructure facilitating cross-company financial applications, identity management, and traceability – something most companies won’t be able to operate without. Enabling seamless migration between DLTs, infrastructure that is DLT-agnostic will create the path to future move into public networks like Ethereum or integration with them for payment and other DeFi applications.”
Growing at this pace speaks volume of what the future could bring for the Ethereum platform and the industry it represents especially with the burgeoning interconnected protocols of decentralized finance (DeFi) that are striving to undo outdated traditional financial vehicles of today. The coming launch of Ethereum 2.0 has also been touted to be a game changer.
“I see the future having large companies moving some of their business off of expensive, proprietary databases to Ethereum’s public ledger and/or creative flavors that private chains can introduce,” says Adam Traidman, CEO of BRD cryptocurrency wallet, and maker of enterprise-grade blockchain data integration platform, Blockset. “Data sharing between companies, the transparency of data, and the automation of functions and agreements is a real, desired use-case, and major reason for the success we see today in Ethereum.”
For Ashish Singhal, the CEO of CRUXPay, Ethereum beats its predecessor, Bitcoin, as it performs beyond just the payment function but also capable of hosting different use cases like decentralized applications and DeFi on its blockchain through smart contracts. Ethereum is a developer paradise that operates as a company with Vitalik Buterin at the top, he said, adding:
“A futuristic DLT ecosystem would ideally operate in a more decentralised manner (consensus algorithm) with better transaction speed and ability to accommodate other DLTs. Ethereum is actively working towards a more efficient consensus algorithm focusing on better speed and greater decentralisation. At this rate, it does seem that Ethereum would comfortably lead the pack of futuristic DLTs.”
Dan Gunsberg, CEO of the HXRO platform, attributes Ethereum’s success to the ease at which both hybrid and fully decentralized autonomous systems, applications, and organizations can operate on its framework. He describes Ethereum’s “real beauty” to be its being “the ultimate laboratory for innovation across an almost infinite spectrum of market segments.” He said: “Anyone with an idea has the ability to become an entrepreneur, quickly put their idea into practice, then offer it to a global community that collectively decides whether or not the innovation has merit, provides value, or solves a problem. I think we are well past answering the question of whether or not Ethereum will play a significant role in a decentralized future.”