With a market cap of $198 billion, Ethereum is the second largest blockchain network in the world. It hosts nearly 6,000 decentralized applications (DApps) and acts as the underlying infrastructure for many cryptocurrency trading platforms, DeFi protocols, and NFT marketplaces.
However, despite its popularity, there are many details about Ethereum that few people know. Join us as we uncover some of these little-known facts and give you a better understanding of the world’s first smart contract network.
Ethereum is crowdfunded
Ethereum is the brainchild of Vitalik Buterin, who created the network’s whitepaper in 2013. Previously, Buterin did not have the means to start improvements and had to apply for financing. However, instead of turning to venture capital companies, he and his co-founders decided to go the route of crowdfunding, a funding method that was popular at the time for artists and social business projects. The crowdfunding campaign was a great success. Buterin collected the necessary funds within a few months (July and August 2014) and the Ethereum project was finally launched on July 30, 2015.
Testnets named after subway stations
Testnets are backup blockchains. It is used to test changes and updates before they go live on the main network. Ethereum has 5 testnets namely Sepolia, Goerli, Ropsten, Rinkeby and Kovan. Interestingly, these test networks are named after metro and railway stations around the world. Kovan is an MRT station in Singapore, Rinkeby and Ropsten are stations on the blue and red metro lines in Stockholm, Sepolia is a stop on line 2 of the Athens metro, and finally, Goerli is named after a Berlin train station.
Ethereum is divisible up to 18 decimal places
When Ethereum launched in 2015, its native cryptocurrency Ether (ETH) traded for a fraction of a dollar. Today, almost a decade later, 1 ETH is worth more than $1,600; is down from the all-time high above $4,800.
If the token’s growth in recent years is any indication of future appreciation, owning even one ETH is out of reach for many investors. Note that the development team allows ETH to be divided by up to 18 decimal places.
This ensures that even if prices rise in the future, users will still be able to purchase a fraction of the coin. The smallest denomination of ether is known as a gwei, with 1 ETH equal to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 gwei. The current version of Ethereum is not native
The Ethereum we know today is a hard fork that appeared in 2016. The original version of the blockchain was called Ethereum Classic and is still in use today. The split occurred due to the hacking of The DAO, an investor-driven venture capital firm for Ethereum investors. However, after acquiring over $150 million worth of Ether (ETH), The DAO was attacked due to a vulnerability in its codebase.
After the hack, the Ethereum community was divided into two groups. A small group of developers and miners believe that DAO investors should suffer the consequences of investing in the wrong project. However, a larger group wants to bring the blockchain back, effectively creating a bailout for DAO investors.
In a controversial decision, Ethereum sought to return all stolen funds. Those who did not agree to change the Ethereum protocol remained in the old Ethereum blockchain, and it was given a new name – Ethereum Classic.
The forked chain used the Ethereum name and became the more popular chain of the two. Ethereum Classic has a fixed supply, while Ethereum’s supply is unlimited.
Only one co-founder works directly on the platform
The Ethereum project has eight co-founders: Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Amir Chetrit, Charles Hoskinson (the original 5 co-founders of Ethereum), Gavin Wood, Jeffrey Wilcke and Joseph Lubin. Today, only Buterin is actively working for the Ethereum blockchain.
Charles Hoskinson and Gavin Wood built new blockchain networks, Cardano and Polkadot, considered rivals to Ethereum. Anthony Di Iorio, who runs Toronto-based blockchain software company Decentral, left Ethereum last year, citing personal security risks. Other co-founders are involved in various industries.