Ethereum, the highly anticipated platform for supporting smart contracts and other kinds of decentralized applications, officially launched the first phase of its project on Thursday, July 30th. After 18 months and roughly $18 million since it was first announced, Ethereum is the third-largest crowdfunded project of all time.
Advisor to the development team William Mougayar wrote in a May 2015 blog post:
Ethereum is an alternative decentralized ledger protocol, not alternative cryptocurrency.”
Ethereum’s goal is to utilize the technology that underlies bitcoin and apply it to any product or service that can be digitized, making them cheaper, faster, and more accessible. Ethereum is specifically designed to decentralize all programming on the web. The potential range of its applications is wide and includes everything from “smart” contracts that enforce their own rules to healthcare to supply-chain management to messaging and more.
Thursday’s launch of the bare-bones platform called “Frontier” is aimed primarily at developers as a live testing environment with real funds at stake. Non-developers will have to wait two to four months for Ethereum’s next release called “Metropolis.” The final phase “Serenity” may be up to twelve months away, but promises to be a well-built and user-friendly decentralized platform that could support a wide variety of uses.
Read more here- “Ethereum Launches Long-Awaited Decentralized App Network,” (Grace Caffyn, CoinDesk)