Ether, the digital token of the Ethereum blockchain, is the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world by market value.

Ethereum is a leading driver in blockchain, says Circle CEO 

Blockchain and cryptocurrency may one day be “as broadly adopted as the internet is today,” Jeremy Allaire, CEO and co-founder of fintech company Circle, told CNBC.

“It’s a really fertile space in terms of the fundamental, technical and infrastructure,” Allaire said on “Fast Money” Wednesday.

One major driver for this possible occurrence: ethereum. “Right now ethereum has an enormous amount of developer activity,” Allaire said.

“One of the things that really catalyzed the [cryptocurrency] market last year was actually that ethereum, in particular, kind of got to a place where you could build apps on top of it,” he said. “You could issue new tokens on top of it; you could create new kinds of financial contracts, using the smart contracts technology.”

Ethereum is the name of the company that created the digital token ether. The company created a platform for applications built on blockchain, the same technology that underpins bitcoin. Ether was first launched as a fundraising effort to develop the platform.

As a result, Allaire concluded, ICOs, or initial coin offerings — a crowdfunding way to raise funds for cryptocurrency ventures — have dramatically increased. For all of 2017, ICOs raised $3.8 billion. But in only six months this year, companies have raised more than three times that amount, or $12.4 billion in ICOs, according to CoinSchedule.

“It also catalyzed a lot of competing infrastructures to ethereum,” Allaire said, pointing out that there are a lot of new blockchain platforms on the market right now. Some to consider are EOS, NEO and Cardano, he said.


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