Ethereum Review by FIMA Plus Company

1. Overview

Vitalik Buterin described his idea in a white paper and it started to spread. Ethereum project began with ether (ETH) presale in August 2014, mostly by fans all around the world. The core team back then included Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Joe Lubin and Gavin Wood. Now, the project is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit organization, with worldwide team of developers.

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that primarily runs smart contracts. Smart contracts are programed apps that run without any possibility of downtime or third-party interference. Blockchain is the supporting technology, on which these apps run, making it a powerful shared global infrastructure. This way developers have an opportunity to build and deploy decentralized applications, decentralized markets, ability to store registries of debts or promises, move funds and many other things. Most important of all is that a middleman or counterparty risk is avoided. To conclude it in short, Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based distributed software platform that allows developers to build and deploy decentralized applications.

Unlike Bitcoin, which offers one particular application of blockchain technology, a peer to peer electronic cash system that enables online Bitcoin payments, Ethereum blockchain focuses on running the programming code (smart contracts) of any decentralized application built on top of it.

The entire Ethereum system is supported by a global network of so-called “nodes.”. Nodes are supporters (miners) who downloaded the entire Ethereum’s Blockchain to their desktops and fully enforce the consensus rules of the system, keeping the network honest and receiving rewards in form of ETH in return.

Those consensus rules, as well as numerous other aspects of the network, are dictated by “smart contracts.”. They are designed to automatically perform transactions and other specific actions within the network with parties that you don’t have to necessarily trust. The terms for both parties to fulfill are pre-programmed into the contract. The completion of these terms then trigger a transaction or any other action. There is a common belief that smart contracts are the future and will eventually replace all other contractual agreements, as the implementation of smart contracts provides security that is superior to traditional contract law. Also, transaction costs associated with contracting and establishing trust between two parties are significantly reduced.

2. Use Cases

Ethereum use cases are based on technology of smart contracts, which potentially solve many real-life problems. Currently, full potential of smart contracts in terms of different usages is still not achieved. Below are some of the examples:

a) ICOs or DAICOs

Sort of evolution in crowdsale funding was made after the presentation of first Ethereum based ICO back in 2015. The whole process of ICOs or token sales became more effective, transparent, democratic and fair.

DAICO model is an ICO upgrade where the problem of crypto scams will be reduced. Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, presented the idea of project funding with new smart contract model having DAICO variable called ‘tap’. The main difference when compared to the ICO contract starts in the ‘tap’ (units: Wei / sec) where it is determined how much Ether the developers will be able to withdraw from the contract per second. On top of all, this tap limit is governed by the DAICO contributors. Funding the project with ether (ETH) will be the same as in the old ICO contracts. With advanced Ethereum based DAICO smart contracts, token sale model can become even more efficient.

b) Crypto Projects on Ethereum blockchain

Ethereum network is known as a host blockchain to around 80% of all crypto projects. Decentralized applications (DAPPS) are also on the rise with the help of its technology. As a backbone to high percentage of new projects, with high impact in crypto industry, there is no need to explain further the importance of Ethereum blockchain.

c) Banking & Financial Services

Smart contracts could be applied to mortgages, payments and settlements, national bonds, insurance claims etc.

Smart contract can be written to enforce the rules and conditions in a situation where a person fails to pay ‘x’ consecutively. This way foreclosure could be possibly avoided.

d) Prediction Markets

The prediction market is an innovative idea which can be applied when you need to know the future outcome of a future events, like football match, an election campaign in a country, price discovery point of an auction, etc. Augur and Gnosis are some of the most known prediction market projects built upon Ethereum.

People are incentivized to participate in predictions and when some of these predictions prove accurate, they are rewarded via trustless smart contracts hosted on Ethereum blockchain. On the other hand, information collected from the crowd is averaged into the most realistic possibility and therefore the most probable outcome.

3. Team

Ethereum has spawned a vibrant ecosystem of developers, thinkers, and entrepreneurs excited by the potential of  decentralized network for computing power. In general, team consists of few community-leading people and all the others supporting the community.

Vitalik Buterin – is the creator of Ethereum who also wrote Ethereum whitepaper in 2013, and remains one of the leading people behind the project development. His opinion is highly appreciated in whole crypto community and very often projects are comparing their future development with the one of the Ethereum.

Jeffrey Wilcke – is the co-founder of Ethereum. He started the first implementation of Ethereum by using the Go programming language in 2013 and has been the Go team leader and head developer ever since. The Go client launched successfully on July 30, 2015, marking the release of the genesis block and Ethereum platform.

Patrick Storchenegger – is an attorney at law and notary public in Canton Zug, the so-called “Crypto-Valley” in Switzerland. He has many years of experience in international tax and business consultancy, company and capital market law. He advises several international concerns, including those engaged in trading, re-insurance, transportation and blockchain technology, as well as donating pro bono services to charitable organizations.

 

Also, worth mentioning is Ethereum´s ex-CEO Charles Hoskinson who now operates as CEO of IOHK, a technology company committed to studying new tools and paradigms for cryptographic research and the architecture of cryptocurrencies. The projects include two of Ethereum competitors – Cardano and Ethereum fork – Ethereum Classic. He left Ethereum in 2014 after getting in an argument about further funding of Ethereum.

Pros

a) strong community support with established project reputation in eyes of investors

b) active development team working to improve the stability, security, functionality, and scalability of the Ethereum Blockchain

c) ICOs can be launched much faster and projects can make use of Ethereum network

d) good tool for building up decentralized apps

e) smart contracts can be incorporated in the real use cases

 

Cons

a) it is impossible for a project running on Ethereum network to improve the functionality of its blockchain, instead it must contribute to the development of Ethereum’s blockchain

b) a lot of competition trying to take Ethereum´s throne in DAPPS

c) instead of Proof-of-Stake, Proof-of-Work consensus is still in use

 

Potential risk Project Transparency Token Liquidity Project Development* Marketing and PR Decentralization

4.5

4.5

5

3.5

4.5

4

Overall Score

4.3

Potential risk Project Transparency Token Liquidity

4.5

4.5

5

Project Development* Marketing and PR Decentralization

3.5

4.5

4

Overall Score

4.3

1 – Very bad / 5 – Excellent
* Every day in crypto industry competition is rising and Ethereum has a bit slower development in PoW-PoS transition and scalability overall