Five years ago, Ethereum’s genesis block was mined into existence on July 30, 2015.
In only seven months, Ether went on to become the second-biggest cryptocurrency that firmly holds onto this spot up to this day.
A retrospective look
Ethereum was launched with an ambitious goal — to decentralize everything on the internet with the help of programmable smart contracts.
This was preceded by the Ethereum initial coin offering (ICO) that raised close to $18 mln back in 2014. The genesis block includes all transactions from the largest cryptographic token sale of that time.
Ethereum miners were initially able to get 5 ETH per each block, but the reward was then reduced to 3TH after the activation of the Byzantium hard fork back in October 2017. This was followed by the Constantinople update that further reduced the block reward to 2 ETH in February 2019.
Frontier, the “barebone” version of Ethereum, initially had the gas limit set 5,000. Back in June, miners voted to increase it from 10 mln to 12.5 mln so that the network can handle 44 transactions per second.
As reported by U.Today, the Ethereum blockchain surpassed 10 mln blocks back in May, which close to 15 zettahashes of power.
Five years from now
After the ICO mania, decentralized finance (DeFi) emerged as a new frontier for Ethereum, reinvigorating interest in the project.
While sleeping on the “Unchained” podcast about Ethereum’s next five years, its co-founder Vitalik Buterin jokingly mentioned that getting Ethereum 2.0 done would be “really important”. The proof-of-stake upgrade, which is now expected to go live in late 2020, has suffered multiple delays.
Overall, he expects Ethereum to make great strides when it comes to mainstream adoption, becoming a regular part of people’s lives:
“I think getting the technology to that point where you actually have like lots of people from in lots of places from around the world deriving value from Ethereum and just getting both of those two things done, I think, would be a great place to be.”