Brief Timeline History of Ethereum Blockchain
Thasni Mayaon April 7, 2022.
Ethereum issues the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency. Its use cases extend beyond that, though. Anybody can deploy smart contracts on Ethereum, which can execute themselves without relying on intermediaries. The novelty of the blockchain continues to amaze the tech world. Today, Ethereum is home to an array of decentralized applications, crypto tokens, and NFTs.
Who Were the Co-founders of Ethereum?
If you’re wondering how long Ethereum has been around, it goes back to 2013.
The decentralized vision put forward by Bitcoin ignited the idea of a highly flexible blockchain in Vitalik Buterin, a 19-year-old computer programmer. He first described it in a whitepaper published in November 2013. The permissionless network that would be able to facilitate a range of utilities from insurance to exchanges and DAOs soon garnered worldwide attention.
At the North American Bitcoin Conference (2014) in Miami, the project was publicly announced. Development of the blockchain began the same year. Many industry experts joined the project as it grew, including Polkadot creator Gavin Wood, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson, Joseph Lubin, and Anthony Di Iorio. Many left along the way.
Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood are the original authors of Ethereum.
How Was Ethereum Going to Differ From Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a blockchain that powers a cryptocurrency of the same name. As a radically new medium for the exchange of value, it facilitates payment transactions without the support of banks or the government.
Ethereum further expanded this idea.
In addition to decentralized payments, it executes immutable contracts and applications. It comes complete with a programming language called Solidity, which enables developers to build and run dApps on their own.
Let’s take a look at the other key differences between the two:
- Bitcoin supply is capped at 21 million. Ether has an infinite supply.
- Bitcoin has a block time of 10 minutes, whereas the average block time of Ethereum is between 12 and 14 seconds.
- Bitcoin is a Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain. While Ethereum currently uses PoW, it will soon shift to the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism.
Ethereum’s First Crowdsourcing Launch
A project as big as Ethereum in vision requires massive funding for conceptualization, research, and execution.
Who funded Ethereum?
To circumvent the legal hurdles involved in raising funds, the Ethereum Foundation came into being in 2014. The initial allocation began on July 22, amassing 31,591 BTC ($18,439,086 then) for close to 60,102,216 ETH. The sale ended on 2 September 2014.
The First Live Release of Ethereum
After months of testing and audits, the Ethereum Frontier network launched on 30 July 2015. The day marks the initial release date of Ethereum. It was a basic implementation of the project intended for developers with a hard-coded Gas limit. Developers could now start writing smart contracts and roll out decentralized apps on the network.
The Growth of Ethereum Since The Live Release
- The second major version of the Ethereum platform, titled Homestead, launches in March.
- 3.6M Ether is stolen from The DAO. The DAO drew massive attention during its launch and, as a result, held roughly 15% of all Ether. The DAO hack stains Ethereum’s reputation, although the network had little to do with the vulnerabilities. The price of Ether takes a sharp decline from $20 to $13.
- Soon after, the Ethereum community implements the DAO fork to restore the stolen funds. As some miners refuse to fork, the event splits the Ethereum community into two — Ethereum and Ethereum Classic.
- The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance launches, bringing together Fortune 500 companies, blockchain leaders, innovators, developers, and start-ups to accelerate the adoption of Ethereum.
- ETH crosses the $100 mark.
- The ERC20 standard is officially recognized.
- The iconic NFT collection CryptoPunks launches on Ethereum, paving the path for the ERC-721 standard.
- ETH surges to $1000 early in January.
- DeFi development picks up pace, fueled by platforms like Compound and Uniswap.
- By December, the price of ETH slumps back to ~$100.
- The Istanbul fork goes live with improved denial-of-service attack resilience.
- The price remains more or less the same, crossing $300 briefly.
- The total value locked in DeFi explodes from $10B in January to $26.65B by the end of the year.
- The staking deposit contract rolls out, marking a key milestone in the development of ETH 2.0.
- Beacon Chain genesis kicks into action.
- DeFi continues to grow, locking in around $110B by November.
- Multiple network upgrades go live, namely Berlin, London, Altair, and Arrow Glacier.
- ETH takes a steep upturn, hitting its max price of $4,891.70 on 16 Nov 2021.
- Ethereum Merge successfully completes on Kiln testnet, the final public testnet before Ethereum’s move to a proof-of-stake network.
Let’s take a look at the Ethereum price chart history to better understand how the project grew over the years.
Ethereum price history:
Ethereum Classic price history:
Does Ethereum Have a Future?
An evolving blockchain is a sign of innovation. Although there are numerous blockchains in the market vying for Ethereum’s place, the project has regularly updated over the years and stayed relevant, addressing its shortcomings and exploring new use cases. Its transition to the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism will further open up opportunities for the community.