I created a profile just so I could tell you how fabulous this article is. I’m doing an article on ethereum for a financial site I write for and to be honest I knew very little about ethereum when I came here but left with quite a bit of knowledge from this and the intro to blockchain article that is linked to here. This article surpassed my expectations and is very well presented, and the most important thing is, it requires no preexisting technical knowledge to grasp. So many articles discuss concepts like blockchain other technical terms without really explaining them properly, but thanks to this article I know what this is now and what it’s for, and can grasp some of its huge potential. Thanks!

By October 2009, the world’s first Bitcoin exchange was established. At the time, $1 was the equivalent of 1,309 Bitcoin. Considering how expensive Bitcoin is today, that was a real steal. Bitcoin traded at a fraction of a penny for quite some time. Things started changing in 2010; as the distribution of Bitcoin increased, the digital currency became inherently more valuable.
The FBI shut down Silk Road on 2 October 2013. The alleged chief operator of the site, Ross William Ulbricht (also known as Dread Pirate Roberts) was charged with alleged murder for hire and narcotics trafficking violation. The agency confiscated over 26,000 bitcoins from different accounts on Silk Road, worth approximately 3.6 million US Dollars back then. Twenty days later, the FBI reported that they had seized 144,000 BTC thought to belong to Ulbricht.

A market order in this case would submit a buy order for XBT at the price of the lowest available sell order. Using the orderbook above, a market order for 0.5 XBT would purchase 0.5 XBT at $384.07 per XBT. If selling bitcoins, a market order would sell bitcoins for the highest available price based on the current buy orderbook—in this case $382.5.

The cool thing is that blockchain technology can be used for much more than financial transactions. It was designed to not have a single point of failure, and to be fully transparent. That's why you see it rapidly emerging in the gaming space, too. It can be utilized for secure cloud storage distributed across thousands of computers. Physical objects could conceivably be given unique digital ownership or identities. Anything of value can be integrated with blockchain technology. The possibilities at this point are endless and reliant on the imaginations of developers.
As more investors hang upon the decision by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over the approval of a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund, thereby allowing the entrance of institutional investors and the billions they could add to the market cap, cryptocurrency enthusiasts are quick to point out the irony in 2018’s price fall. Despite slipping valuation for Bitcoin, Ethereum and other large name projects, adoption for crypto and blockchain is at an all-time high, with nearly every sector scrambling to find ways to integrate the novel technology and improve their bottom line. Likewise, enrollment for crypto and blockchain based educational courses is reaching a fever at colleges and universities across the globe, signifying the shifting landscape towards making cryptocurrency a legitimate tool as opposed to an ongoing chip for exchange-driven price speculation.
Ether is a fundamental cryptocurrency for operation of Ethereum, which thereby provides a public distributed ledger for transactions. It is used to pay for gas, a unit of computation used in transactions and other state transitions. Mistakenly, this currency is also referred to as Ethereum.[48] It is listed under the code ETH and traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, and the Greek uppercase Xi character (Ξ) is generally used for its currency symbol. It is also used to pay for transaction fees and computational services on the Ethereum network.[49]
As of May 2018, over 1,800 cryptocurrency specifications existed.[24] Within a cryptocurrency system, the safety, integrity and balance of ledgers is maintained by a community of mutually distrustful parties referred to as miners: who use their computers to help validate and timestamp transactions, adding them to the ledger in accordance with a particular timestamping scheme.[14]
If the Ethereum Platform is rapidly adopted, the demand for transaction processing and distributed application computations could rise dramatically and at a pace that exceeds the rate with which ETH miners can bring online additional mining power. Under such a scenario, the entire Ethereum Platform could become destabilized, due to the increased cost of running distributed applications. In turn, this could dampen interest in the Ethereum Platform and ETH. Insufficiency of computational resources and an associated rise in the price of ETH could result in businesses being unable to acquire scarce computational resources to run their distributed applications. This would represent revenue losses to businesses or worst case, cause businesses to cease operations because such operations have become uneconomical due to distortions in the crypto-economy.