Where is the Name Ethereum coming from?

Vitalik Buterin

There are a lot of rumors where the name Ethereum is actually coming from. However the question was actually answered by Vitalik Buterin in a Forum post in March 2014.

Vitalik Buterin:

“I was browsing a list of elements from science fiction on Wikipedia when I came across the name. I immediately realized that I liked it better than all of the other alternatives that I had seen; I suppose it was the fact that sounded nice and it had the word “ether”, referring to the hypothetical invisible medium that permeates the universe and allows light to travel.
Although I did play wow back in the day, any reference to those level 70 baddies in Netherstorm is purely incidental.”

The “ether” that he is referring to in is answer was actually long believed to fill out any space. Until 1887 when the Michelson-Morley experiment suggested the nonexistence of “ether”. Today in modern physics the theory of “ether” isn’t used anymore and no one really believes in the existence of “ether” anymore.

How to Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum

Bitcoin, Ethereum and many other cryptocurrencies are currently booming and an ever growing number of people are wondering where they can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum.

After testing out countless services we came to the conclusion that the easiest way to buy cryptocurrencies is on one of the big exchanges especially if you are new to Bitcoin or Ethereum.

The exchanges make it very easy for new users to buy or sell cryptocurrencies. You may have heard that you need to store your Bitcoin or Ethereum in wallets and if you lose the keys to that wallet they are gone forever. However with exchanges like Coinbase it’s not necessary to have a separate private wallet for your cryptocurrencies anymore. They will handle that for you.

Coinbase* is probably the biggest and most popular wallet and exchange service. The company is based in the US and backed by some of the biggest US VC’s. At their last funding round the company was valued at more than 1 billion US Dollar. They also have an app that let’s you access your Bitcoin or Ethereum via the App.

To buy Bitcoin or Ethereum

  1. Open an Account on Coinbase*
  2. Add your preferred payment method (either credit card or bank account)
  3. Go to “Buy/Sell” and select the cryptocurrency you want
  4. Click “Buy”

*if you use the link provided you will get $10 of Bitcoin for free if you buy cryptocurrencies for at least $100.


Ethereum Name Service launched

After a failed attempt to launch the Ethereum domain register it finally went live now with the second attempt.

Everyone who uses Ethereum for sending or receiving money knows it’s quite of a hazzle to use the hexadecimal addresses. Usually an Ethereum address looks like this and has at least 40 characters: ‘0x4cbf68c50380…’. Therefore it is quite long and hard to remember. It also doesn’t have a checksum in order to check if the address you typed in is correct.

The Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is translating these addresses now into human readable addresses that are similar to a domain. A valid Ethereum name would be: ether-domains.eth. Thus instead of sending ether to ‘0x4cbf68c50380..’ you can just send it to ether-domains.eth. Besides the domains you are also allowed to add subdomains for all the names you own for example: john.ether-domains.eth.

Unique is that the whole Ethereum Name System (ENS) is designed as a leaderless domain system. The development was done by the Ethereum Foundation especially Nick Johnson and Alex Van de Sande. Currently it only allows you to register names with at least 7 Characters. In order to register a name you need to go here. If the name you are looking for is still available you can start an auction.

The auction process is a so called Vickrey auction. That means once you initiate an auction for the name that you want all bidders have three-days to place their bids. At this point all bids are sealed. After the 3 days comes a 2 day reveal period where bidders need to reveal their bids publicly. Whoever reveals the highest bid in these 2 days wins the auction. But the winner only pays the amount from the second highest bid. If now one else bid on the name the bidder only pays 0.01 ether.