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Ethereum is a blockchain based platform which comes with a smart contract functionality. Smart contracts are applications that operate exactly the way they were set up to operate which is why they eliminate the chance of any downtime and outside interference that can lead to frauds, scams or even to censorship. The Ethereum platform also includes so-called Ethers. Those are cryptocurrency tokens that can be mined, bought and traded.
Ethereum is one of the most recently released cryptocurrency platforms. It was co-founded in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin – a programmer of a Russian-Canadian descent. Ethereum is decentralised and it is often referred to as the oil of cryptocurrencies. Currently, it is considered to be among the most important cryptocurrency platforms in the world.
How is ETH different from Bitcoin?
Both Ethereum and Bitcoin rely on the blockchain technology but the similarities between them pretty much end with that. The Ether and the Bitcoin differ from each other in a number of ways.
Firstly, they have different blocktime. Ethereum transactions are much faster compared to Bitcoin transactions. To be more specific, the Ethereum protocol is able to process a single transaction in just 12 seconds. In contrast, the Bitcoin protocol will need 10 minutes to do the same thing.
Another major difference between ETH and BTC is related to their monetary supply. More than 65% of all bitcoins have already been mined, whereas only half of Ethereum’s coins have been mined so far. In addition to that, the Ethereum mining reward is not restricted like that for Bitcoin where the amount of reward bitcoins drops by 50% every four years.
The fact that Ethereum is a decentralised platform that uses smart contracts has its advantages. As a platform that has the ability to run apps on its own network, Ethereum has zero downtime. As a result, there is no risk of third-party interference, censorship, hacking attacks or frauds. This and the fact that the platform relies on cryptography makes Ethereum incredibly secure.
Smart contracts are a double-edged knife for ETH as they come with both pros and cons. The biggest let-down of smart contracts is that they are written by people which is why they may contain bugs and mistakes.
How does Ethereum mining works?
For the time being, Ethereum uses the PoW (Proof of Work) system which means that Ether mining is quite similar to Bitcoin mining. That is why the more you “mine” the harder it gets to gain rewards.
Original developer: Vitalik Buterin
Top Wallets: Coinbase, Exodus, Jaxx, ETHAdress, MyEtherWallet
Release date: 30 July 2015
What to do if you want to buy Ether?
A fast and easy way to buy Ether is by using a trading or a cryptocurrency platform. The list of ETH trading brokers is constantly growing which means that you have a great selection of choices. However, you must be very careful when you are choosing an Exchange or a Broker.
How to pick the right Broker for you?
Go with a trustworthy crypto broker that offers a non-stop client support. This is a must since the trading world never sleeps and having an expert who is able to help you and to answer all of your questions at any time of the day or the night can make all the difference.
Consider the trading platform
Find a broker that relies on a trading platform with which you are familiar. If you are a newbie in trading, pick a crypto broker that has a platform which is as simple and as easy to use as possible. Still, do make sure that it also offers all the necessary analytical tools.
Liquidity, currency pairs and fees
A great tip when searching for a good Ethereum broker is to use one that offers flat fees. That is because brokers tend to charge traders every time they buy or sell Ether. It is also a big plus if the broker offers a large choice of currency pairs or, at the very least, the available currency pairs which you prefer to use. And before you choose a broker, an exchange or you take any action related to Ether trading, do take into consideration the current liquidity of the market.
Those of you who are interested not only in cryptocurrencies but also in trading as a whole should try to find a broker that can offer them a wide range of investment options and trading assets. For instance, if you also trade on the Forex market, you will need a broker that has Forex as a trading option. The same goes for people trading stocks, exchange-traded funds, contracts for difference and etc.
Rely on a regulated broker
Ethereum may be a decentralised platform but that does not mean that you should not use a regulated broker. In fact, that is in your best interest as that will make your Ethereum trading safer.