Ether, the second in command cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, was the creation of Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian cryptocurrency researcher, and computer programmer. Ethereum is an open source public Blockchain that uses the smart contract functionality. The altcoin launched onto the scene with a pre-sale on July 22, 2014, with the exchange rate set at one bitcoin = 2000 ether.
The ether altcoin went live on July 30, 2015, and since then, the cryptocurrency has never looked back. At press time, the price of ether is at $466.00 with a market cap of $45.8 billion.
Cleveland Student’s $500,000 Windfall
A Cleveland high school student named Eddy Zillan invested $12,000 into Ethereum’s cryptocurrency when the price was just a couple of dollars. The 18-year-old has now made over $500,000 from his initial investment.
The teenager whose hobby is attending automobile shows is just like the average student except for the fact he has now made a fortune trading cryptocurrencies. When asked in an interview with CBC how he obtained capital to invest in Ethereum at such a tender age, he said, “A portion of the money I received for my bar mitzvah, I used it to fund my investments. Also, I used to work as a tennis instructor, and I invested the money as well.”
The teenager researched both Bitcoin and Ethereum and he also took on board the advice of many specialists in the field after he decided to buy the less popular ether. Bitcoin is often called the ‘internet of money,’ while Ethereum’s scope is much wider, hoping to introduce decentralized applications. While the potential for ether was greater at the time, the supply of the altcoin is not deflationary like bitcoin or litecoin.
Betting Big on Ethereum
Zillan chose ether over bitcoin at the time because he saw it as a different cryptocurrency with high growth potential. He reiterated, “I thought that maybe there was something like Bitcoin but different, which was there was. It’s called ether. I realized that it could have a lot of potential.”
The young investor said via email, “I have sold all my Ethereum classic. I held it for several days and then sold it turning a small profit.” Ether classic, was born out of the hard fork to save the DAO and consequently saw the blockchain split into two in the summer of 2016. The community debated on whether the DAO hack was lawful execution of a smart contract code or for the ETH funds to be rolled back for the blockchain to ‘erase’ the hack.
The price of ether has grown alongside the price of bitcoin over the years, but the two really started to divergence in spring 2017. Year-to-date, ETH-USD has gone up by almost 6,000 percent while BTC-USD has increased by about 2000 percent. Ether Classic has also risen in line with bitcoin.
YTD Performance: Bitcoin (blue), Ether (red), Ether Classic (Orange)
Zillan sees a very bright future for the ethereum project and has said he would continue to trade cryptocurrencies. The young investor has even set up a company to help people to learn more and navigate the space, called Cryptocurrency Financial.
The cryptocurrency craze is minting a lot of new millionaires, and it is still possible that many “early adopters” now will also become wealthier. Zillan’s story is very similar to Erik Finkman’s, who made millions on the rise of bitcoin from a gift from his grandmother and his interests in the cryptocurrency at an early stage.