Capital has been an instrumental aspect of human culture and society for thousands of years. Rare is the opportunity to live through revolutionary times with a keen awareness of the world transforming around you. Change is often subtle, slow, and built upon a historical progression. Every so often that changes, there is a revolution that reshapes how society is structured and functions. Today we bear witness to the rise in cryptocurrencies and the change brought by blockchain technology.
Some historic writers would postulate this is inherently incorrect. Skeptics, who have invested a lot of time, money, and their reputation into denying cryptocurrencies are rising, acceptance will continue to do so. Writers such as Evolas would argue that this is wrong for a different reason. That we are not the first epoch to develop such technologies, nor will we be the last. Curious historical perspective there.
Regardless of these views since Bitcoin‘s emergence in 2009, blockchain technology has permeated a vast amount of mediums. Spawning both innovation and succession currencies. Many of these simply aimed to cash in on the success seen by Bitcoin. Litecoin, by contrast, merely desired to be the silver to Bitcoin’s gold. Ethereum aimed to stand above and apart from the rest through the offering of true innovation.
As of this writing, Ethereum just enjoyed the highest market cap in its history. According to Coin Market Cap , Ethereum reached a market cap of $230,818,645,845.54 while enjoying a price of $2,013.10. Making Ethereum the second most powerful currency on the market.
What has allowed Ethereum to rise about other currencies? Let’s explore this, shall we?
Traditional coins are supported by the blockchain, and coins such as XRP are utilized by institutions and have a special purpose. Ethereum launched with a different intention. Aiming to be more than a mere currency, its launch featured additional programmable features. Allowing individuals to set up automatic contracts.
This has given rise to people using Ethereum as banks. Ethereum 2.0 will soon expand further upon this innovation, offering additional security at the same time. More importantly, it will switch from a mining infrastructure to a staking infrastructure, improving the network’s speed and efficiency.
These innovations have grown the acceptance of Ethereum. Many financial institutions have taken to adopting Ethereum, some hedge funds and financial institutions have Ethereum holdings, and retailers are beginning to view Ethereum as an acceptable payment option.
Online casinos have furthered the currency’s acceptance by allowing its use for betting and gambling. Compressive Ethereum casino ratings lists now exist, guiding people to enjoy the pastime with crypto.
Many companies including Overstock.com, now accept Ethereum as a means of payment. The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance now boasts over 500 members with continued growth projected for the future.
Defi is shorthand for Decentralized Finance. Described as a new wave of financial innovation, DeFi is accomplishing what was once only done by highly centralized networks and financial institutions. At the forefront of DeFi is the Ethereum Network that handles the bulk of the DeFi.
With most utilizing Ethereum in this manner, the network has seen massive strains last year, leading to the much-anticipated shift from a proof-of-work system to a proof-of-stake system in Ethereum 2.0. 2.0 will also feature more integration options allowing for DeFi applications to continue to grow.
This is all good, but what is DeFi? We already know it is shorthand, so recounting that is a pointless endeavor. What is meant by this is Ethereum’s Network and integrations allow individuals to function as lenders, guarantors, middlemen, to name a few functions previously in the domain of banks.
As more people become lenders, etc, they need to acquire more Ethereum leading to the market cap we have recently seen. Since there is no halt to this adoption and function, more will continue to adopt Ethereum increasing its market cap evermore.
The aforementioned proof-of-stake system allows individuals to set aside a certain portion of their holdings to function as miners. Brokerages are offering yields bonuses for the adoption of this mechanism through them. You will not net the total yield you could enjoy, but at the same time, if a transaction bounces, you will not suffer the loss either.
Staking has transformed Ethereum into a high yield savings vehicle. As you are lucky to receive 2% from a normal high yield account, brokerages offer 7% yields. Legacy banking institutions are likely to join after this concept is proven successful as the rate of return is too high to just ignore it. Few things can guarantee a 7% return on investment with no risk.
As time goes forward, Ethereum will continue to grow not just in market cap but also in its integration into the financial landscapes. Decentralization has historically been a significant boon bringing great innovation to every market that has adopted it. Also, warfare, but that’s a story of talking trees and revolutionary nerds.