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Ether Price

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About Ether (ETH)

Ethereum is a cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that provides a decentralized, global computer on which developers can build decentralized applications (Dapps) and their own crypto tokens.

Ethereum was first described in a white paper published by computer programmer Vitalik Buterin in 2013. The Ethereum network is a decentralized virtual computer with a programming language that allows developers to create and run smart contracts. Smart contracts are computer programs that can automatically facilitate, verify, or enforce the terms of a contract entered into by human or computer counterparties. The distributed computational resources that the Ethereum network brings to bear on a smart contract are paid for in ether, its currency unit.

Ethereum Token

Ether or ETH is the digital asset token of the Ethereum network (similar to how bitcoin or BTC is the digital asset token of the Bitcoin network). All ETH balances and transactions are recorded on the Ethereum blockchain. The smallest subunit of ETH is the “wei,” which is named after Wei Dai, a computer engineer and cryptographer best known as creator of b-money and the developer of the Crypto++ library. One wei is equal to 10-18 ETH or one quintillionth of an ether (.000000000000000001 ETH). Ether can be bought and sold for fiat currency, e.g. ETH to USD and vice versa, or other digital currencies.

Ether can be purchased on a cryptocurrency exchange and stored in a crypto wallet and custodian like Gemini.

Ethereum Supply

Ether is issued at a constant annual linear rate via the block mining process. This rate is 0.3 times the total amount of ether sold (~60 million ETH) during the ether presale in June 2014, which equals 18 million ETH. This means that 18 million ETH will be issued every year in perpetuity. This is in contrast to Bitcoin, which has a supply that is fixed at 21 million BTC. While the overall supply of Ethereum will continue to increase, the growth rate of its money supply will decrease over time because the amount of ether issued per year is fixed. Because the inflation rate of ether decreases every year, ether is considered a disinflationary digital asset. Like all cryptocurrencies, Etherem’s value and Ethereum price prediction is based on a variety of macroeconomic factors and crypto-market dynamics.

Ethereum Characteristics

If bitcoin resembles “digital gold” (i.e., a store of value), then ether resembles “digital oil” that powers a decentralized, global computer.

What Are Ethereum Layer 2 Tokens?

The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) is considered Turing-complete and computationally universal. It allows developers to build Dapps that run on the EVM and pay for computational resources in ether. The EVM also allows developers to build their own digital asset tokens or layer 2 tokens on top of the Ethereum network. A number of these layer 2 tokens use the ERC-20 standard for fungible tokens. Many of these ERC20 tokens were built during and contributed to the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) boom of 2017. Other standards for layer 2 tokens have emerged such as the ERC-233 standard for fungible tokens and the ERC-721 standard for non-fungible tokens (also known as NFTs of “nifties”). The Gemini dollar , a stablecoin issued and operated by Gemini, uses the ERC233 standard, whereas the blockchain game Cryptokitties uses the ERC721 standard for non-fungible tokens.

Learn more about Ether on Cryptopedia:

  1. Ethereum Explained: A Guide to the World Supercomputer
  2. Ethereum 2.0: A Guide to the Proof-of-Stake Transition
  3. How Are Bitcoin and Ethereum Different?
  4. Key Use Cases for Ethereum and Blockchain
Buy, sell, and store Ether
Buy, sell, and store Ether
To start trading, create an account or login

The pricing data and asset description above are for general informational purposes only and are not investment advice. Buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrency involves risks. You should consult with your own appropriately qualified and licensed advisors before engaging in any transaction on Gemini. Some data is provided by Messari, a third party that is not affiliated with Gemini.