There are some fascinating things happening in the world of digital currencies! By now we have all heard of Bitcoin and the many advantages that come with using it to make financial transactions.
Since it was released, many other cryptocurrencies have been launched, proving the fact that people are interested in the idea of freedom from all the traditional financial institutions we have gotten used to. But there has been a huge step forward in the way the digital currency networks operate as well. Ethereum is the name for this novelty, and the currency it produces goes by the name Ether.
In the following paragraphs, we will try to answer all your questions about what Ethereum really is and how Ether works!
What exactly is Ethereum?
In order to explain what Ethereum is, we will first need to say something about the way we are currently processing and storing data. In short, all our data is being stored on servers and clouds. The people whose data that is aren’t the people storing it.
Every major site has its own servers or clouds that they use to store data. So for example, when you visit the Amazon site, your info gets stored on Amazon’s servers. This has worked well in the past, but there have always been security issues. We all know that a hacker could at any time change, steal or leak information stored on servers and clouds.
Ethereum strives to be a solution to that problem. In short, the people behind it are trying to create a “World Computer” which would serve us all. It might sound a bit menacing at first, but it is actually the opposite. Instead of relying on x-times removed servers run by centralized systems, we would have a completely decentralized one that would protect us from harm.
To get a bit more technical, Ethereum strives to replace servers and clouds with “nodes” which can be run from anywhere in the world. But that is not all, since Ethereum has also released its own digital currency – Ether. The following paragraphs contain an explanation on how to get it.
How do you mine for Ether?
One of the most cost-effective ways of obtaining any king of cryptocurrency is mining it. The process is really not that complicated. Before you start mining, you first need to get the proper equipment. This includes both hardware and software.
Once you are properly equipped, you can use your software to start the mining process. To put it in simple terms, this process involves providing Ethereum with computational power in return for Ether units.
There are two basic ways to go about mining Ether. First, you can join a mining pool and mine for it yourself. Second, you can get yourself a mining contract. By doing this, you give a small percentage of your profits for someone else to take care of your mining. The best sites for getting a contract of this kind are Genesis Mining and Hashflare.
How can you buy Ether?
But just like any other digital currency, Ether can be bought. If you don’t want to bother doing the mining, you can always choose this instead. However, you will still need to choose between a couple of different options. Here we will focus on two of them – buying Ether with fiat currency and buying it with Bitcoin.
If you choose fiat currency, you will have plenty of options in terms of exchange sites that will do all the work for you. Simply do a quick Google search, find a site that deals in your currency and register for an account. When it comes to Ether, one of the best sites is definitely Kraken. There you can use euros, pounds and dollars to purchase your Ether units.
If you already own Bitcoin, the alternative might be the best choice for you. But apart from the obvious reasons, there is also the matter of liquidity and fees. With Bitcoin, you get more for the amount you invest. And if you don’t want to have to look for a site where you can do this, simply go to Coinbase – it provides one of the easiest ways of trading Bitcoins for Ethers.
How can you earn Ether?
But what if you don’t want to pay for Ether? Luckily for you, there are still things you can do to get your hands on it. Whether you believe us or not, there are sites that give currencies like these away. And they don’t even care who gets it. If you want in on this, simply follow our advice.
First of all, start visiting digital currency forums. There are loads of them, one of the most reliable being BitcoinTalk. Login every now and then to see if there is anything new. If you are just a tiny bit lucky, you will be notified when there is an Ether giveaway. The people behind it will ask you to do something simple to show your interest, such as post in the thread. And once you have done that, chances are some of those Ether coins will be yours.
Is investing in Ethereum or Ether a smart move?
There are and always will be sceptics, but we believe it is safe to say that we are living in the golden age of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is still getting more valuable each day and there is plenty of room for other altcoins. Although Ether is still relatively new, there are a couple of things that make it an obvious success. Here they are in a nutshell.
Thanks to a completely redesigned network, Ether allows for more functionality than any other digital currency. And if we were to bet on one of these networks, we would surely bet on the one that brings an even higher level of autonomy and security. A lot could happen in the span of a couple of years, but we believe that, at least for the time being, Ether is as good an investment as Bitcoin!