Many of you will no doubt know the key dates in Bitcoin’s history. October 31, 2008, when Satoshi shared the white paper for the first time. January 3, 2009, when the Genesis Block was mined with its famous embedded Times headline.
But how many of us know the date January 23, 2014? On that date, nine years ago this week, a 19-year-old named Vitalik Buterin posted a message on the BitcoinTalk forum titled “Welcome to the New Beginning.”
In it, he said that while “the grand experiment” of Bitcoin had tested “a trustless, decentralized database” and “a robust transaction system capable of sending value across the world without intermediaries,” there was one key feature it was missing: “a sufficiently powerful Turing-complete scripting language.”
Welcome to the New Beginning
When the grand experiment that is bitcoin began, the anonymous wizard desired to test two parameters- a trustless, decentralized database enjoying security enforced by the austere relentlessness of cryptography and a robust transaction system capable of sending value across the world without intermediaries. Yet the past five years years have painfully demonstrated a third missing feature: a sufficiently powerful Turing-complete scripting language. Up until this point, most innovation in advanced applications such as domain and identity registration, user-issued currencies, smart property, smart contracts, and decentralized exchange has been highly fragmented, and implementing any of these technologies has required creating an entire meta-protocol layer or even a specialized blockchain. Theoretically, however, each and every one of these innovations and more can potentially be made hundreds of times easier to implement, and easier to scale, if only there was a stronger foundational layer with a powerful scripting language for all of these protocols to build upon. And this need is what we seek to satisfy.
Ethereum is a modular, stateful, Turing-complete contract scripting system married to a blockchain and developed with a philosophy of simplicity, universal accessibility and generalization. Our goal is to provide a platform for decentralized applications – an android of the cryptocurrency world, where all efforts can share a common set of APIs, trustless interactions and no compromises. We ask for the community to join us as volunteers, developers, investors and evangelists seeking to enable a fundamentally different paradigm for the internet and the relationships it provides.
Thus was born Ethereum. In the subsequent years, Ethereum itself, smart contracts in general, and all the systems that have been born out of that inspiration have transformed the crypto industry and the world beyond. We cannot wait for the next nine years!