Ethereum successfully implemented the world's first smart contract functionality on blockchain.
Ethereum (ETH) is the second most successful cryptocurrency, and for good reason: developers are able to use the network to build their own decentralized apps (dapps), smart contracts and even create their own cryptocurrency tokens from a number of token standards that the platform has created.
Smart contracts are best described as automated contracts that are coded to execute once a specific set of criteria have been met.
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Ethereum was launched in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin and a number of co-founders. The second biggest cryptocurrency was the first network on which developers could create their own applications, known as dapps, and smart contracts. This proved to be a game-changer for the development and innovation within the blockchain industry.
In a move to build a more sustainable network, Ethereum is working on an upgrade from a Proof of Work consensus to Proof of Stake. This significantly reduces the electricity usage required to maintain the network, reduces gas costs and aims to improve the network's security and scalability.
The first phase in this upgrade was launched on 1 December 2020, while two more phases are required before it takes full effect. This is expected to take place at the end of this year.
Gas fees are the payments made by users to compensate miners for the computing power used to verify transactions, similar to transaction fees on the Bitcoin network. Gas fees are calculated in gwei, a denomination of ETH. When using Oobit, gas fees are minimal allowing you to send ETH free of charge.