Ethereum is one of the major cryptocurrencies. It is not a direct rival to Bitcoin as it is designed to deal with processes outside money transfers. Ethereum has a stable presence on the market because of unique features it has introduced to the community, such as decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts. This makes it a suitable payment alternative for businesses that operate in the gig economy as well as for startups that are willing to diversify their payment methods.
Since the start of the year, it has been steadily dropping in price along with the rest market participants. Although cryptocurrencies are no stranger to high volatility, Ethereum suffered much when the market crashed. Jumping over the hurdles of a collapse, it has lost its position as the second largest cryptocurrency and made way for XRP.
Nevertheless, the true believers in Ethereum do think that the coin will recover soon due to the project’s strong fundamentals and a unique practical value. As of today, Ethereum is finally getting into the green zone with a daily increase of 4.84%. The ETH/USD rate has settled over $120 so far.
Application Areas of Ethereum
Ethereum has several practical application areas so far and is growing in acceptance despite it loosing markedly in value in the past year as you can see below.
Even though Ethereum wasn’t initially aimed to function like regular money, it is being used for financial purposes and sometimes even considered to outperform Bitcoin in this regard. There are integration systems for e-commerce to accept Ether payments, and many merchants actually do already.
As with Bitcoin, Overstock.com has become the pioneer marketplace that started accepting Ethereum as a legitimate method of payment and is seemingly gaining by that. It is said that Overstock gets over $100,000 in cryptocurrency revenues weekly. However, they are not unique in their positive attitude to cryptocurrencies. Here are several more merchants that may gladly take your Ether in return for goods or services.
Shopify. This is another full-featured e-commerce platform that hosts a great number of online stores targeting a diverse audience. As a store owner, you can activate an alternative payment method enabled by the platform and start accepting over 300 cryptocurrencies for your services.
HTC. Are you looking to buy a mobile device and preferably pay with Ether? It’s no big deal anymore. HTC has recently released a blockchain-based phone that can be bought with cryptocurrency only. As stated by the company, this phone model can also act as a hardware wallet.
BullionStar. Believe it or not, but you can easily buy a bar of gold with digital gold (pun intended). BullionStar, a precious metal dealer, has been cryptocurrency-friendly since 2014 when they introduced Bitcoin as a method of payment. In early May 2018, the company announced that they would be accepting Ethereum as well.
Of course, this is not a complete list of merchants that have entered the world of crypto, but we need to move on as Ethereum has many more use cases to focus on.
Practically, Ethereum can power any project as this platform facilitates the applications development. DApp is an open-source piece of software that can be easily accessed and utilized by any blockchain user for their own purposes. There are thousands of DApps already, each intended to offer a solution to a particular sector - from energy consumption services to banking operations. You can also find a DApp for social media or entertainment, decentralized storages or crowd sales, freelance markets or charity funds – the list goes on endlessly.
No matter how thrilling these opportunities seem, DApps haven’t reached a wide audience yet. The statistics show that only six Ethereum-powered applications have more than 300 daily active users. But as the interest grows, we can expect that along with the crypto market maturity, all major technological advancements provided by the networks like Ethereum will become commonly appreciated and used.
Another thing about DApps is that not only ETH makes them possible. Some promising crypto projects that were already nicknamed Ethereum-killers of sorts also strongly focus on decentralized applications. The EOS DApps even enjoy better adoption at the moment.
This solution isn’t brand-new as it was developed back in 1994. However, it has gained much traction thanks to Ethereum. Basically, a smart contract is a programmed agreement that automatically executes when the predefined conditions are met. It allows making a deal directly between two parties without any intermediaries.
Smart contracts are already implemented in many fields: real estate, insurance, rentals, supply chains, etc. We can expect this solution will facilitate numerous processes and make some jobs like notaries and bankers obsolete. Sounds revolutionary, doesn’t it? The Ethereum-powered smart contracts are only starting their way to disrupt traditional industries and become a universal method of making deals.
Will the Price Spike Though?
Ethereum has experienced a lot of ups and downs this year, which is actually characteristic of other cryptocurrencies too. 2018 has been a tough year for the whole market that has been going through numerous corrections. Like any other crypto that reached its all-time high at the end of 2017, ETH has dramatically decreased in price from $1,500 to around $200, where it sits now.
The good news for Ethereum though is that it has a large base of devoted supporters, who won’t let it touch the bottom. Despite the fact that the network suffers from scalability issues and needs to be more user-friendly, its native token is still actively traded and invested in.
The price predictions for Ether vary a lot. While some claim it will vanish, others imagine a future where Ethereum is superior to Bitcoin and altcoins. However, the crucial thing about this coin is that its popularity can’t fade away along with the price drop. According to the Ethereum founder, the cryptocurrency value should actually be estimated in terms of sustainable blockchain usage and not hype. As long as the community of developers is working on enhancing the utility of the Ethereum network and more users are getting involved, Ether will thrive.
Ethereum is the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, and one thing that makes it popular is its unique features. Smart contracts and decentralized applications are definitely the innovations that will reshape traditional operations with money, data, and digital assets. Ethereum brings the decentralized future closer – and this is what a cryptocurrency should by definition do.
The technology behind Ether needs to evolve and become more user-friendly, but it is already showing advancements that are in demand. With the evolvement of the network and the maturity of the whole crypto market, ETH might become more valuable and appreciated.
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