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We Keep Hearing Rumours… is Ethereum Dead?

Benson Toti

Despite a recent market rally, crypto prices are very much depressed compared to what they were a year ago. 2018 was a terrible year for cryptocurrencies by most value metrics. This has led numerous crypto pundits to make statements like “Ethereum is dead”. If you Google that search term, you’ll have no end of results. So, is Ethereum really dead?

We understand this perspective, although we don’t agree. To explain, let’s remind ourselves of what Ethereum is. First of all, the Ether token is a currency. It’s primarily used as money that’s used to fund transactions on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum is also a technology platform, one which can be used to create all kinds of smart contracts and digital applications. Finally, Ethereum is a fundraising platform, and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) launched on Ethereum were one of the great stories of 2017.

This latter point is the one that Ethereum’s critics are always harping on. It’s true, ICOs have declined in number and in funds raised in 2018. By some measures, the ICO crash has been more than 95%. ICOs have stopped for one main reason: The United States regulatory agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, has started to prosecute ICOs.

Most of the ICOs currently being punished were launched on the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum itself isn’t being litigated (the SEC ruled that Ether itself is not a security), but many of the ICOs that used Ethereum are now seen as naked cash grabs, ones which took advantage of investors and provided none of their promised products and returns.

Without ICOs, is Ethereum Dead?

Ethereum ETH dead

For a “dead” project, Ethereum seems shockingly active

ICOs would have to be stupid to continue running new fundraisers on Ethereum in this current environment. So does this mean that Ethereum is dead? Is now a good time to buy Ether?

No, Ethereum isn’t dead at all. ICOs were flashy, constantly discussed in the media, but they’re far from central to Ethereum’s goals. Ethereum needs decentralised applications, but it’s unnecessary that these raise billions of dollars through unlicensed securities offerings. The SEC has successfully stifled the sketchiest aspect of Ethereum, while the strong and legitimate characteristics have thrived, even during the crypto doldrums of 2018.

Development on Ethereum remains incredibly active, with dozens of GitHub commits added to the software each week. Ethereum is barrelling ahead towards Constantinople, the fourth and final major stage in its technological evolution. Ethereum continues to make partnerships with corporations, governments, and technology startups, providing security and speed to a whole host of applications and use cases.

At the end of the day, ICOs were bad for Ethereum. The company is better off without them and will certainly survive this crypto winter. So despite what you might have heard, the rumours of Ethereum’s death are quite exaggerated.

Featured image source: Pixabay


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