Ethereum continues to make waves on the cryptocurrency landscape, with developers introducing new applications that take advantage of its smart contract and crowdsale capabilities. The Ether’s market cap has soared above $1 billion recently.
As Ethereum grows, it earns media coverage which in turn fuels its growth. The New York Times recently ran a feature story noting its value has spiraled 1,000% in the last three months and is attracting interest from major financial companies that are using it for private blockchains and smart contracts, CCN.com reported.
Coinimal, a Vienna, Austrian-based crypto broker that first offered its users the chance to buy Ethereum in August, has introduced a “sell” feature to enable users to convert their ETH back to fiat, the company noted on its website .
The new Coinimal feature is intended as an easy way to buy and sell the alt. currency using a bank account. The process of buying and selling ETH can otherwise be time-consuming since most exchanges are either U.S.-based or primarily offer ETH-to-BTC trading. Coinimal has nine funding options and withdrawals using PayPal, NETELLER, Skrill or SEPA transfer.
Christian Trummer, Coinimal chief technology officer, noted that Ralph Pichler, an Austrian smart contracts expert and an Ethereum veteran, has joined Coinimal to implement the new feature.
Coinimal customers can cash out ETH using Amazon.de vouchers, which are available in any denomination. Users can spend the Amazon.de vouchers on anything in Amazon.de’s German marketplace.
Verification for using Coinimal takes minutes via webcam chat. Even without verification, users can sell up to €1,000 per day, with a total €30,000 limit.
Uphold, meanwhile, a platform that provides various financial services and encourages fintech innovation, has announced it will support Ethereum along with Litecoin to give users more ways to utilize new and disruptive applications. Uphold noted it will launch Litecoin in April and Ethereum in May.
Uphold decided to support the two cryptocurrencies due to their expanding popularity among developers, financial traders and open source enthusiasts.
“We can’t wait to extend all the benefits Ethereum and Litecoin can bring to you, our members,” said Jorge Pereira, Uphold’s executive vice president and chief product and engineering officer, on the company blog .
Coincheck, a Japanese bitcoin exchange, noted that ETH uses Isariumu, a mechanism that provides contract information to the blockchain. Coincheck also noted that Microsoft’s introduction of an Ethereum Foundation blockchain has delivered global recognition of the alt. currency. The foundation’s tools reduce the cost for blockchain applications.
Ethereum allows users to create new types of decentralized applications. The website lists various projects in progress.
Ethereum enables users to design and issue their own cryptocurrency. Users can build a token with a fixed supply, create a central bank that can issue money, and build a puzzle-based cryptocurrency.
Ethereum users can kickstart a project with a trustless crowdsale. Users can create a contract to hold a contributor’s money until a certain goal or date is reached. The funds can be released to the project owners or returned to the contributors, all without a centralized clearinghouse or arbitrator. Users can build a crowdfund to pre-sell a product, build a crowdsale to sell virtual shares in a blockchain organization, or create an auction for a limited number of items.
Ethereum also allows users to create democratic autonomous organizations. An Ethereum-based contract can collect proposals from backers and submit them via a transparent voting process. The process is immune to outside influence and will only execute what it is programmed for. Users can build a virtual organization where members vote on issues, create a transparent association based on shareholder voting, build their own “country” with an unchangeable constitution, and create a better delegative democracy.
Some cryptocurrency observers claim Ethereum will face more security issues than bitcoin due to its more complex software. The alt. currency system has faced less testing and suffered fewer attacks than bitcoin. The unusual design could also invite more regulatory scrutiny considering some potentially fraudulent contracts can be written into the system.
However, the system’s capabilities have drawn interest from major corporations.
Last year, IBM announced it was testing Ethereum as a way to manage real-world objects in the Internet of Things.
Microsoft has been working on various projects that make it easier to use Ethereum on its Azure computing cloud.
Marley Gray, a business development and strategy director at Microsoft, said Ethereum is a platform for solving problems in different industries. He called it the most “elegant” solution seen to date.
Featured image from Ethereum.