Ethereum's History

Take a look at how Ethereum started back in 2013 and the major milestones that brought it to where it is today!

TL;DR

  • Ethereum started back in 2013 with an initial price of $0.27 per ETH.
  • The Ethereum Foundation had the foresight to plan for upgrades along the way leading up to The Merge.
  • Though faced with hack and attacks, each upgrade after that improved the security of the network.
  • Moving into The Merge, we will see the consensus mechanism change from POW to POS.

Ethereum is synonymous in the blockchain space as the leader for smart contracts. Ethereum was conceived by Vitalik Buterin back in 2013. In 2014, together with Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Iorio, and Joseph Lubin, they began the development work and crowdfunding of Ethereum and the Ethereum network went live on July 30, 2015.

Vitalk Buterin, founder of Ethereum

Let us take you through the history of Ethereum up till the current time where the most anticipated “Merge” is coming to fruition, estimated to happen between the 10-14th of September.

In 2013, Vitalik Buterin released the Whitepaper for Ethereum. In the whitepaper, Vitalik agreed that the creation of Bitcoin in 2009 was a radical development by Satoshi Nakamoto. However, what Vitalik wants to expand on is the underlying blockchain technology as a tool of distributed consensus.


What Ethereum intends to provide is a blockchain with a built-in fully fledged Turing complete programming language that can be used to create “contracts” - Vitalk

On the 1st of April 2014, Dr. Gavin Wood authored “The Yellow Paper” which is a technical definition of what the Ethereum protocol is. The Yellow Paper is now currently being maintained by Nick Savers and other contributors from all over the world.


From 22nd July to the 2nd of September of 2014, Ether was up for sale and people could use BTC to purchase Ether (ETH). In the announcement that Ethereum put out, the discounted price of Ether was set at 2,000 ETH per BTC and it will linearly decrease to 1,337 ETH per BTC across 42 days.

This meant that the launch price of ETH was $0.29 per ETH. But when Ether was first traded on the 7th of August 2015, it traded at $2.77.

Frontier Upgrade

Frontier went live on the 30th of July 2015. Though it is a bare-bone implementation of Ethereum, the subsequent Olympic testing phase was a success. The Olympic testing phase was targeted at technical users and developers, this put a 5,000 limit for blocks.

Frontier Thawing - Eth Price: US$1.24

On the 7th of September, Frontier Thawing was live. The thawing allowed miners to start their operations and early adopters to install their clients without rushing. It also set the default gas price to 51 gwei which allowed for transactions as transactions require 21,000 gas.

But the most important update here was the introduction of the “difficulty bomb”. The introduction of the difficulty bomb ensured that the blockchain could hard-fork to a Proof-of-Stake in the future.

Introduction of difficulty bomb for hard fork to PoS in the future.

Homestead - Eth Price: US$12.50

14th of March 2016, the Homestead fork was introduced. Homestead introduced Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIP) 2, 7, and 8 which were the Main homestead hard fork changes, Hardfork EVM Update: DELEGATECALL and devp2p forward compatibility respectively.

DAO fork - Eth Price: US$12.54

On the 20th of July 2016, Ethereum suffered its first major hack, the DAO Hack, which brought about the DAO fork. The DAO Attack was due to an insecure contract that was released and this allowed the hackers to drain 3.6 million ETH in this hack.

The DAO fork was put through a voting system by the Ethereum community and any ETH holder was able to vote via a voting platform, it came to 85% of the votes agreed to a fork. However, some miners refused to fork which lead to the birth of Ethereum Classic (ETC).

Ethereum hard fork into Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC)

Tangerine Whistle - Eth Price: US$12.50

3 months later on the 18th of October 2016, the Tangerine Whistle fork was introduced to address immediate network health issues as the Ethereum Network has been attacked by an individual or groups of people which resulted in delays when transactions were processed. The attackers repeatedly called certain actions in their smart contracts which pushed out computationally hard transactions on low-priced contracts, this led to the increase of prices of certain operations on the network.

Spurious Dragon - Eth Price: $9.84

The second response from the Ethereum Foundation for the DoS attack that happened with Tangerine Whistle was introduced to address matters like opcode pricing to prevent future attacks on the network, and relay protection was added to prevent transactions from one Ethereum chain from being broadcasted to an alternative chain, eg: a testnet transaction benign broadcasted to the mainnet.

Byzantium - Eth Price: US$334.23

16th of October 2017, the Byzantium hard fork was introduced. Byzantium is the first part of a two-part fork that is planned for Ethereum’s Development. Byzantium hard fork introduced the reduction of block rewards from 5 to 3 ETH and also delayed the difficulty bomb by a year.

Constantinople - Eth Price: US$136.29

After 2 years of no upgrades, on the 28th of February 2019, Constantinople was introduced. Because of the acceleration towards the difficulty bomb, block times became 3 times longer. To counter this, EIP 1234 proposed to delay the “difficulty bomb” for another 12 months and to reduce the block rewards to prevent the blockchain from freezing up until proof of stake is ready and implemented.

Istanbul - Eth Price: US$151.06

Istanbul was introduced on the 9th of December 2019, the upgrade improved the denial of service (DoS) attack that Ethereum suffered just a couple of years back. The hard fork also Ethereum and Zcash to interoperate and allowed contracts to have more creative functions.

Istanbul hard fork introduced interoperability with Zcash

Muir Glacier - Eth Price: US$127.18

Muir Glacier was introduced on the 2nd of January 2020 to delay the difficulty bomb. This was important because as difficulty starts to increase, the Proof of Work consensus became threatened as higher difficulty means a longer time for processing transactions and using Dapps.

As a step closer to the Proof of Stake consensus model, a Staking deposit contract was introduced on the 14th of October 2020. This allowed users to deposit their Ether for the upcoming Beacon Chain which is an important step for Ethereum’s upgrade.

Beacon Chain - Eth Price: US$584.23

On the 1st of December 2020, The Beacon Chain started producing blocks. For The Beacon Chain to start its genesis, it required 16,384 of 32 ETH deposited which was fulfilled on the 27th of November 2020.

The Beacon Chain was the first step toward Ethereum's PoS consensus model

Berlin - Eth Price: US$2,454

Berlin upgrade was introduced on the 15th of April 2021. This hard fork optimized gas fees for certain actions on EVM and also increased support for multiple transaction types.

London - Eth Price: US$2,621

The London hard fork on the 5th of August 2021 introduced EIP 1559 which implemented a base fee system, tipping, and a function that allows users to specify how the maximum fees they are willing to pay. Users will then get refunded back Ether if there is a difference between the maximum, base fee, and miner tip.

Since Ether does not have a maximum supply, as miners continue to mine Ether, this significantly increases the amount of Ether in the market which makes Ether an inflationary asset. EIP 1559 also implemented the burning of a portion of the transaction fee for transactions done on the Ethereum Network. This was welcome by many because there was finally a way to reduce the production of Ether.

Altair - Eth Price: US$4,024

The Altair fork on the 27th of October 2021 was the first upgrade for the beacon chain. Two major upgrades for the Altair fork were the introduction to ‘inactivity + slashing penalties’ and the support for Light Clients.

“Inactivity + Slashing Penalties” reduced rewards for inactive stakers on the network while support for Light Clients allowed validators to access the blockchain without needing to be constantly connected to the blockchain.

Arrow Glacier - Eth Price: US$4,111

Similar to Muir Glacier, Arrow Glacier was introduced on the 9th of December 2021 to delay the ‘difficulty bomb’ for the Ethereum Network until June 2022.

Gray Glacier - Eth Price: US$1,069

On the 30th of June 2022, where the previous upgrade pushed back the difficulty bomb, The Gray Glacier upgrade pushed back the difficulty bomb by another 3 months.

The Merge - Eth Price: US$??

It is predicted that between the 10th to the 14th of September 2022, the Ethereum Network will be going through the most significant upgrade in the history of Ethereum. The Beacon Chain that runs parallel with Ethereum Mainnet will merge which changes the consensus model for Ethereum from a Proof of work to a Proof of stake.

The Merge bringing Ethereum from PoW to a PoS consensus mechanism

Changing the consensus model does not affect the ether(ETH) that you are holding right now. What will change is the way blocks are getting produced and how transactions are getting verified.

With Proof of work, transactions are validated by a miner who verifies blocks with computing hardware. With Proof of stake, transactions will be validated by validators who have a stake in the overall health of the network.

For users and holders of ETH, you do not need to do anything with your funds or wallet before The Merge.

How you can get Ethereum before The Merge?

Step 1: If you don't have a Coins account, you need to create an account and complete verification.

Step 2: Log in to your Coins account and make a cash-in. You can use bank transfer and e-wallet options to top up your PHP into your wallet.

Step 3: Tap Crypto and select “ETH” from the drop-down menu to convert your PHP to ETH.

Step 4: You are a proud owner of ETH!

Disclaimer: The information and publications in this article are not intended to be and do not constitute financial advice, investment advice, trading advice, or any other advice or recommendation offered or endorsed by Coins.

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