What is Ethereum and how to buy it in New Zealand

Pink Floyd ethereum logo

What is Ethereum?

Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is a decentralised, peer-2-peer, open-source cryptocurrency.

Launched in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is the world’s largest and most well-established decentralised software platform that enables Smart-Contracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps). Ethereum is currently the 3rd largest crypto when it comes to volume, which accounts for as is much as 10% of the total market share of all crypto in circulation. Ethereum network is based upon Ether (ETH), an ultrafast, transparent and decentralised cryptocurrency.

To dive straight in with purchasing some Ethereum for yourself with ease at the best rates in New Zealand, click here.

Ethereum Coin on digital circuit board

What are Ethereum’s Smart-Contracts?

A Smart-Contract is a computer protocol intended to digitally facilitate, verify and enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. Smart-Contracts allow the performance of credible transactions without the need for third parties, such as banks, financial institutions, or governments.

These algorithm based contracts are traceable, transparent and irreversible, essentially placing the Ethereum supercomputer in the position of authority.  While a standard contract outlines the terms of a relationship (usually one enforceable by law), a smart contract enforces a relationship with cryptographic code.

How a traditional contract works diagram

Smart-Contracts are essentially like standard contracts, however, Ethereum’s network and programming infrastructure is optimized to carry these rules out automatically to mechanically execute when certain conditions are met. The utility for these cyber-agreements is growing larger daily, with a number of tech firms working on optimising the functionality of these contracts for the application of mortgages, transactions, copyrighted content, employment contracts and much more.

Smart Contract steps info graphic

Ethereum is just the largest and most-established blockchain built for Smart-Contracts out of the hundreds of organisations with the shared goal of revolutionising contracts with blockchain, but It is generally agreed that Smart-Contracts are expected to make a profound impact on the way we currently commit to and execute contracts as a whole.

Hands shaking animation in front of purple and blue tech background

What can Smart-Contracts do?

Ethereum, in this case, is just the technological infrastructure, much like what Windows is to your PC. Anyone can create their own Smart-Contracts or token built on Ethereum, just like anyone can create their own computer program or application. It is hard to imagine a world without lawyers, judges and real estate agents, but with Smart-Contracts on the table, the supercomputer can facilitate all these transactions without the need for third parties, eliminating extra cost and the risk of human mistake.

Cartoon people shaking hands over a smart contract with different cryptocurrencies in the background

The possibilities of ‘Smart-Contracts’ are endless, but with the integration of digital identity, these endless possibilities rise to a whole new level. Smart-Contracts in combination with digital identity provide a new level of reality for self-managed autonomy, where Smart-Contracts can be used to transfer and distribute ownership of assets, value, intellectual property, wills, land deeds, equity, and much more. Basically, anything that can be transferred via contract through human interaction can be replicated through Smart-Contracts. – What a time to be alive.

Ethereum logo in front of Cables with blur on the sides

So who’s running Ethereum?

Like Bitcoin, Ethereum’s supercomputer network is run by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests. This is where an individual or organisation will mine Ethereum for the sakes of profiting for themselves, with the incentive being the small chunk of Ethereum they will receive for lending out their computational power.

They are essentially leasing out their CPU to the Ethernet in exchange for some of their own ETH, working as a single node that interacts and collaborates with all the other nodes/miners in the system. This results in a worldwide supercomputer that can be powered from anywhere in the world that has internet and electricity, forming a truly distributed network and technological infrastructure for the ETH crypto, Smart-Contracts and Dapps (distributed applications).

Two hands extending from computers and shaking in the middle with blue background

Should I buy ETH?

Since the birth of Ethereum on 30 July 2015, ETH’s price has fluctuated from ~$0.30 to over $1300, with a current price of $243 NZD. The value of ETH and the Ethereum network is enormous, and many commentators hold that the current price of ETH is under-valued.  ETH has good prospects, both as a platform for Dapps and Smart-Contracts but also as a globally usable digital money/store of value.  However, ETH is far from a mature product, and if wide adoption does occur it could be years away – or alternatively if Ethereum doesn’t master Smart-Contracts, someone else will do it instead.

Where to buy Ethereum? To start buying and selling Ethereum and 55+ other cryptos, click here!

To learn about the technology making this all possible, click here for more information on the blockchain.