Ether is one of the bigger, newer cryptocurrencies to catch the public’s eye, and one of the notable things about this token is that it is contained in a unique system. Bitcoin is viewed and traded simply as an investment cryptocurrency—even though it exists within a blockchain network—whereas Ether serves as an investment but also as the currency for transactions throughout the Ethereum network. This feature sets it apart from some of the more well-known cryptocurrencies currently out on the market, and also demonstrates the forward thinking that Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin uses to help keep the cryptocurrency fresh.

At the young age of 23, Vitalik Buterin has already shown great knowledge, understanding, and innovation in the realm of cryptocurrency, having recently been named one of Bloomberg’s 50 most influential people of the year for 2017. So it comes as no surprise that at the third developers’ conference for Ethereum (called Devcon3), Buterin announced his plan for the future of Ethereum and cryptocurrency.

This plan is to take place over the next three to four years, and mostly covers tech improvements, system streamlining, and updates that will need to happen in order to handle the increasing workloads placed on the cryptocurrency system and blockchain. “The amount of activity on the blockchain is orders of magnitude larger than it was just a couple of years ago,” Buterin statedCurrently, the focus is on upgrading storage for the blockchain transactions without having to upgrade the costs for doing so.

To help achieve this goal, Buterin focuses on a theory called sharding. The simple explanation for how this works is that the information for the entire network is stored in separate small nodes instead of having one large consolidated network of information and data. The main “branch” (or shard) of the network would have the main data for Ethereum, and the other smaller shards would have information on other transactions within the network.

Difficulties with scalability (i.e. the capacity to handle increasing numbers of transactions) have also plagued other cryptocurrencies, and Buterin’s solution could potentially be applied to some of them as well. For more information on this and other ideas that Buterin proposed, visit this page.

Feature imaged: Ethereum Youtube Image by Unknown, Wikipedia Commons

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