05 Jan
Technology , Opinion

Ethereum Moves Forward

Gavin Knight

ETHCORE’s releases of the parity wallet and polkadot network breathe life into Ethereum.

One of the biggest challenges facing Ethereum is user experience. While it has programming functionality for a large consumer base to utilize GUI’s and easy to use tools need to be developed. Parity, ETHCORE’s Ethereum wallet, brings a fresh take on user experience, and starts to open the door for integrating more functionalities. In addition Gavin Wood of ETHCORE and Ethereum released the polkadot paper, creating a sidechain style network opening the doors for a mixture of public and private chains among other functionalities.

There’s no clear path to success in cryptocurrency except to continue moving forward.

Bitcoin in its long lifespan relative to other cryptocurrency has achieved market dominance but not without setbacks. Many events have hurt it’s progress including hacks of centralized entities and worries of scaling. Still a continuous effort has paid off. Similarly, other projects in the space that show a commitment to progress may see similar success. The foundation of ETHCORE represents the need to have a focused team without constraints of the main Ethereum development to work on new uses of the protocol. It’s not uncommon for projects to spin-off another entity, but it is for them to so quickly push out tools to improve Ethereum and not immediately make profit on development.

Ethereum powers applications and is not innately created as a currency.

The clear difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum, is that demand for Ether is dependant on the development of applications. Ether is used as a mechanism for updating contracts, and can also be used internally as a pseudo monetary instrument. There have not yet been a huge release of applications, but after the major crowdfunding in 2016, it’s possible these will drive demand. The market has suffered and not unexpectedly with splits in the coin and major exploits.

A commitment to development despite the market shifts shows developers are focused on Ethereum, despite Bitcoin’s rise.

One can’t deny that the Ethereum crowdsale raised a lot of money, around $18 million dollars at the time of sale. Still it’s obviously struggled, but core developers have not left en masse. In some cryptocurrency or altcoin projects, if price dips low enough development becomes stagnant. It’s not rational to think Ethereum price can be without trouble, such is the fate of even Bitcoin as it drifted around $200 not long ago. However, in both cases developers remained committed and consistent with a long-term perspective. Truly one wishes we were further along, but in 2017 the test of Ethereum will be can it weather any future major protocol level storms, and what will it actually be used for applications. If we see an uptake of successful applications, increased functionality and usability, the Ethereum price is not unlike Bitcoin’s drop previously, but it’s still unclear if the dynamics outside of market speculation is enough to drive price further.

Smart developers build great things but revolution can’t be forced.

Ethereum was originally pitched as a revolutionary creation that would dramatically shift the market. Unfortunately it has to be, because it’s functionality has to overshadow the already existing centralized systems and other smart contract platforms. Ethereum doesn’t need to change the world now but it first needs the smart developers in the space, from crowd sales, ETHCORE, and ethereum development to start building usable applications and get passed the roadblocks.