The first introduction that the world had to blockchain tech was the Bitcoin network. Now, while this was a revolutionary development, it was really only the “first gen” of the tech. Ten years on the Bitcoin experiment has paid out, but it really is a limited version of what the tech is capable of.
Today Bitcoin is usually used to exchange money online while staying anonymous. For example, according to BitFortune there are countless Bitcoin gambling websites that you can try your luck at, or you could even use the cryptocurrency to purchase flight tickets or book hotels at Expedia.
But beyond that, there is not much else you can do with Bitcoin.
Vitalik Buterin believed that there had to be more to it and proposed that scripting language be built into it. When that didn’t work, he decided to start his own project and create his own whitepaper. And so Ethereum was born.
What Makes Ethereum So Different?
The purpose of the network is completely different to Bitcoin. Ethereum was never intended to function solely as a cryptocurrency, its focus was more on functionality. Because there is programming language built into the core, you can use the network to create applications and programmable contracts.
Why We Needed This for Applications?
Ethereum offers developers a complete solution for developing and releasing applications in a much more cost effective manner. The apps, or dapps (decentralized applications) as they are known in the industry, can be distributed directly to the end users.
That means no paying a middleman to get the dapp out there. And the savings in fees can be pretty substantial here. Also, with a more direct link to the end consumer, you can develop features and make adjustments in a much shorter time period.
Using the network gives you access to more computing power than you would be able to access on your own. A blockchain based network is essentially a world’s super computer. The more nodes that join up, the higher the potential power of the network is.
Another thing that makes Ethereum interesting is that it gives you the software that you need to create your own cryptocurrency token. This can be invaluable when it comes to raising funds for your projects.
You still have to put in a lot of effort in terms of research and marketing, but the basic framework for creating and managing tokens is in place.
This was the other area that the network was creating a buzz in. Smart contracts are pretty simple at this stage. You do need to understand something of programming to write them because they are code, but Ethereum does make it simpler.
These are simple If/ When programs, but what makes them unique is that once they have been set up, they will be executed as soon as the condition is fulfilled. At this time, the uses are somewhat limited because they are very simple programs, but there is the potential for great things.
So, if we are looking at who disrupted Bitcoin the most, Ethereum is the leading contender.