Elon Musk says he’s not “for or against” decentralised platform Ethereum, following rumours of using it for a project.
Musk was responding to a tweet from cryptocurrency proponent William Shatner, of Captain James T. Kirk fame from Star Trek. The tweet from Shatner was originally posted back in May, but Musk took time off from launching shuttles to respond this week:
Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum is designed to be more than just a currency. The second largest blockchain project by market cap aims to be an unownable, global digital computer for executing peer-to-peer contracts.
Ethereum’s goal is ambitious, but it has the support of legions of developers who contribute to the platform’s open source code and build dapps (decentralised apps) on it.
The platform also has the support of hundreds of household companies as part of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance including AMD, FedEx, JPMorgan, Microsoft, VMWare, and more. In fact, Adam Cochran – a partner at Metacartel Ventures and an adjunct professor at Conestoga College in Canada – found that “wallets associated with major players such as JPMorgan Chase, Reddit, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and Walmart” are accumulating Ethereum.
According to a report by LeadBlock Partners this week, Ethereum is the leading choice of EU startups working on, or integrating, decentralised technology.
Further research, from DappRadar, found that Ethereum dapps accounted for 85 percent of transaction volume in the second-quarter of this year, rising by $4.5 billion over the first quarter.
While it’s still early days for decentralised apps, and many uses are yet to be discovered, Ethereum has found its first “killer app” in DeFi (decentralised finance) driven by the likes of Compound, Kyber, Loopring, Maker, and others.
According to data from DeFiPulse, over $500 million has been “locked up” in various DeFi protocols in the past seven days – averaging just over $78 million per day. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum currently has a small annual inflation. However, based on the current rate, users are putting four times as much ETH into DeFi protocols than is being issued via inflation.
Ethereum certainly isn’t without its problems and there are plenty of rival projects waiting to take its place.
A new version of Ethereum, which switches to a faster and greener Proof of Stake consensus algorithm, is due to launch this year. Ethereum 2.0 has been plagued by delays but developers remain confident it will launch in the next few months.
The new Ethereum will run alongside the existing version and it’s expected it will take at least a couple of years before the transition is fully complete. However, Ethereum’s founder is confident that using “ZK-rollups” will deliver adequate scaling for dapps’ current needs in Ethereum 1.0 before 2.0 delivers those “Visa-like speeds” people like to talk about:
While it seems that Musk needs some more persuading to start building on Ethereum himself, he hasn’t ruled it out for the future. However, an increasing number of other prominent figures and companies are jumping on the platform.
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