Ethereum Turns Two

If Ethereum had a birth certificate, it would most likely say July 30, 2015. That was the day when the first official iteration of the distributed platform, Frontier, was released to the public. Rather than celebrating candles being blown out, ecosystem enthusiasts from around the world will be celebrating block 4,098,374. Ethereum is stronger in its second year of life than its first, during which it overcame numerous obstacles. The platform continues to prove its ability to deliver on the promise of cryptocurrency 2.0, and its potential to realize the dream of Web 3.0.

In its first year of life, Ethereum had to surmount significant challenges, most famously, The DAO. This trial by fire could have been an extinction level event for the distributed application platform. However the crisis was turned into an opportunity to prove to the world that Ethereum was not only viable, but it was also manageable. This is one of the main reasons for the continued growth of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) this year. Business needs a solid foundation to predicate itself upon and Ethereum’s founders demonstrated extraordinary leadership through the crisis, showing the world that the platform was increasingly ready for industry-grade adoption. The growth of the EEA is one of the surest methodologies for indexing the health of Ethereum and, by all accounts, Ethereum is strong and only getting stronger.

Additionally, Ethereum has shown the world something that Bitcoin could not: blockchain applications beyond finance. Big businesses’ interest in Ethereum has been echoed by a myriad of smaller companies staking their entire business model on the distributed functionalities afforded by Ethereum’s blockchain. The token offerings generated by these companies, which are destined for various levels of success or failure, became so widespread and so lucrative, that the federal government issued rare guidance. While many are currently fixated on the consequences and repercussions of the newly issued guidelines it’s important to not miss the overarching significance of the issuance. The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently ruled upon what is mostly an Ethereum specific phenomenon. Attention like this is a powerful indication that Ethereum is still moving fast and breaking things, which any developer knows is a sure sign that they’re on the right track.

Finally, Ethereum’s birthday is about remembering why it was created. Web 1.0 and 2.0 transformed the world but did little to challenge the powers that be. The large centralized bureaucracies that had existed before the internet quickly came to dominate it. Ethereum represents the growing movement away from centralized database culture (think the SQL database) to a networked database culture. This is why we celebrate Ethereum. It’s not just about the evolution of cool technology. It’s about a fundamental rethinking of the organizing mechanisms of our society.