Ethereum History Since its Launch: Importance and Implications

ethereum history

Since the advent of blockchain technology, Bitcoin has been the only cryptocurrency that has gained the market’s attention. However, with the continuous evolution of the crypto space and developers’ determination to establish a futuristic road, Ethereum emerged as a messiah which opened multiple doors for the crypto economy and eventually became a tough competitor to Bitcoin.

Ethereum, a decentralized open-source blockchain platform with smart contract functionality, was launched on 30 July 2015 to leverage blockchain infrastructure for many diverse applications and extend its offerings to Bitcoin. Ethereum’s founders, Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood, and Joseph Lubin, envisioned a blockchain platform that would empower developers to build decentralized applications, automate processes, and create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs).

As Ethereum has a wide range of use cases, its contribution to the crypto space is significant. It has since become one of the most influential blockchain platforms in the world, playing a key role in shaping the future of decentralized technology.

Ethereum: The Birth of a New Era (2015)

The launch of Ethereum marked the beginning of a new era in blockchain technology and paved the way for creating decentralized applications and smart contracts.

At the time of launch, Ethereum boasted several key features, including a built-in Turing-complete programming language, which is used to create decentralized applications and smart contracts, and a decentralized consensus mechanism. The platform’s Turing-complete programming language, called Solidity, allowed developers to write complex programs that could run on the Ethereum blockchain. This was a major departure from Bitcoin, whose scripting language is limited in its functionality and only designed for the transfer of value. This limitation has made building complex decentralized applications on the Bitcoin platform challenging.

The initial reception of Ethereum was mixed. While some were excited about the potential of the platform and saw it as a game-changer in the world of blockchain, others were skeptical and viewed it as too ambitious and prone to security risks. Regardless, despite the initial skepticism, Ethereum quickly gained traction and became one of the most widely used blockchain platforms for decentralized applications.

Major Ethereum Historical Events

Ethereum Olympic (2015)

Ethereum Olympic was the first public testnet of the Ethereum blockchain. It was launched on May 9, 2015, and served as a way for developers to test the Ethereum blockchain in a real-world setting before the mainnet launch. The name “Olympic” was chosen as a tribute to the first Olympic Games of ancient Greece, which were also a test of skill and strength. The Ethereum Olympic testnet culminated with the launch of the final Proof-of-Concept (PoC) testnet.

This final testnet was a significant step towards the launch of the Ethereum mainnet, as it incorporated several key features that were not available in earlier versions of the testnet. During the Olympic testnet phase, the Ethereum Foundation offered a reward of 25,000 Ether (ETH) to developers who could identify critical bugs or vulnerabilities in the Ethereum network. The purpose of this reward was to incentivize developers to test the network and identify any issues before the mainnet launch.

The reward was offered in two stages. In the first stage, developers were eligible for a reward of 5,000 ETH for identifying any critical issues or vulnerabilities. In the second stage, the reward increased to 20,000 ETH for developers who could identify critical issues that had not been previously discovered.

The reward was a significant incentive for developers, as the value of ETH was much lower at the time. However, it helped to ensure the security and stability of the Ethereum network by encouraging developers to test the platform and report any issues they found thoroughly.

Ethereum Frontier (2015)

Ethereum Frontier was the first version of the Ethereum blockchain, the launch of the network’s mainnet with the mine of Genesis block, released on July 30, 2015. This block marked the official launch of the Ethereum network and contained the initial distribution of Ether (ETH), the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum platform. This event marked the beginning of a new era in the world of decentralized applications, as it allowed developers to build and deploy their own decentralized apps, or “dapps,” on the Ethereum network. This version of Ethereum was a bare-bones platform designed for developers to experiment with and build upon. Yet, it also had its limitations, including low scalability and limited security features.

Ethereum Homestead (2016)

Ethereum Homestead was the next iteration of the Ethereum blockchain, released in March 2016. This version of Ethereum marked a significant improvement over Frontier, as it introduced several new features and improvements, including security enhancements, bug fixes, and increased scalability. Homestead was the hard fork of the Ethereum network as it sparked the transition of Ethereum from a proof-of-concept platform to a production-ready platform. This release paved the way for wider adoption of Ethereum by developers and businesses, as it provided a more secure and stable environment for building and deploying dApps.

The DAO Hack (2016)

The DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization) hack was a significant event in Ethereum’s history that occurred in June 2016. The DAO was a decentralized investment fund built on the Ethereum blockchain that raised over $150 million in its initial coin offering (ICO). However, a vulnerability in the smart contract code of the DAO was exploited, resulting in the theft of over $50 million worth of Ether.

This event created a lot of controversy within the Ethereum community and raised questions about the security of decentralized systems. It also led to the creation of two separate Ethereum blockchains: the original Ethereum blockchain, now known as Ethereum (ETH), and a new blockchain called Ethereum Classic (ETC).

The Ethereum Hard Fork (2016)

The Ethereum hard fork was a result of the DAO hack and took place in July 2016. The hard fork was implemented to recover the stolen funds and restore the stolen Ethereum to the original owners. The hard fork effectively created two separate Ethereum blockchains, with the original Ethereum blockchain being renamed Ethereum Classic (ETC) and the new blockchain becoming the current Ethereum (ETH).

This hard fork was a turning point for the Ethereum community and marked the transition from a primarily experimental blockchain to a more mature and secure platform. It also demonstrated the power of decentralized decision-making and the ability of the Ethereum community to come together and make changes to the network for the betterment of the ecosystem.

Ethereum Metropolis (2017)

Ethereum Metropolis was the third stage in the development of the Ethereum blockchain, released in October 2017. The Metropolis upgrade was designed to improve the security, privacy, and scalability of the Ethereum network. The two phases of the Metropolis upgrade are Byzantium and Constantinople. Some of the key features introduced in Metropolis included smart contract privacy, improved transaction processing speeds, and the introduction of the Zk-SNARKs cryptographic technique for increased privacy and security, as well as the early implementation of the Proof-of-Stake using the Casper consensus algorithm. With Metropolis, Ethereum further cemented its position as the leading platform for decentralized applications and its role as the backbone of the decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem.

Istanbul Hard Fork (2019)

The Istanbul hard fork was a network upgrade for the Ethereum blockchain that occurred on December 8, 2019. It introduced several improvements to the platform, including new cryptographic functions, reduced gas costs for certain operations, and increased network security. The fork was named after the city of Istanbul, which was chosen as a reference to the location of the Devcon 5 conference, where the upgrade was discussed and planned. The upgrade was implemented smoothly and has since been followed by several other network upgrades.

Ethereum Serenity (2020)

Ethereum Serenity, also known as Ethereum 2.0, was a recent and very ambitious development milestone for the Ethereum blockchain, and it happened in December 2020. It marks a major upgrade from the previous versions of Ethereum, as it introduces several new technologies and features aimed at increasing the network’s scalability, security, and efficiency. Some of the key features of Ethereum Serenity include the introduction of the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, the implementation of sharding technology to increase transaction processing speeds, the launch of the Beacon Chain, and the switch from the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) to Ethereum-flavored Web Assembly (eWASM) to improve smart contract execution. With Serenity, Ethereum takes a major step forward in its journey to becoming a more secure, scalable, and efficient platform for decentralized applications and the digital economy.

The Ethereum Merge (2022)

The Ethereum Merge is the most recent development for the blockchain. Long anticipated, Ethereum’s Merge upgrade finally occurred in September 2022, marking the platform’s transition from its previous “Proof-of-Work” consensus method to a “Proof-of-Stake” system. This event marked the integration of Ethereum’s new proof-of-stake consensus layer, the Beacon Chain, with the network’s original execution layer, the Mainnet, which has been in place since the network’s inception.

The integration allowed the network to be protected without the energy-intensive process of mining and instead using staked ETH. The new consensus sys was a fantastic breakthrough toward the goal of Ethereum, which increased scalability, security, and longevity. The developers have reported that Ethereum’s energy usage dropped by 99.5% after the Merge.


Ethereum is a versatile and powerful blockchain platform that offers various applications and use cases. From decentralized finance and NFTs to smart contracts and decentralized applications, Ethereum provides developers with the tools and infrastructure they need to build and deploy next-generation technologies. With its growing community of developers, its commitment to open-source development, and its forward-looking approach to blockchain technology, Ethereum is poised to continue to play a central role in shaping the future of the digital world.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.


What is a decentralized application?

A decentralized application is a software program that runs on a blockchain network and operates autonomously without needing a central authority.

What is a smart contract?

A smart contract is self-executing, with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code.

What is the difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency designed for peer-to-peer transactions, while Ethereum is a blockchain platform that extends its limit from just serving as a cryptocurrency to creating decentralized applications and smart contracts.

What is an Ethereum wallet?

An Ethereum wallet is a software program that allows you to securely store, send, and receive Ether and other cryptocurrencies.

What is the future of Ethereum?

The future of Ethereum is uncertain, but it is widely regarded as a promising platform for the development of decentralized applications and the growth of the cryptocurrency industry.

What is the Ethereum Foundation?

The Ethereum Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the development and adoption of the Ethereum blockchain platform.

How fast are transactions on Ethereum?

The speed of transactions on Ethereum can vary depending on network congestion and other factors, but on average, transactions are processed within a few seconds.

Damilola Lawrence

Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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