On the 30th of July 2015, at precisely 11:26 Michigan time, an unknown coder in an unknown location was busy performing something historic.
Block 1,028,201 had just hit ethereum’s testnet, revealing the last piece of the puzzle for the launch of the world computer.
That block number is “both prime and palindromic,” Stephan Tual said at the time. Palindromic being a number that reads the same backwards and forwards. “Just the way we like it,” he said.
The hash of that block, which back then was to be in the future, “is used by users around the world as a unique parameter to the Genesis block generation script,” Tual said.
A decentralized launch of the decentralized project thus was achieved, with ethereum’s genesis block launched around midday on July the 30th, precisely three years ago.
It initially traded at around 30 cent, with ethereum grabbing most bitcoiners’ attention seven months later, in February 2016, reaching a high of $20. A year later, in spring 2017, it rose to a high of $420, and now in 2018 it remains at around that price.
In the meantime, blockchain went sort of mainstream, as did bitcoin, with the world so introduced to a new world of smart contracts, of automation, of code that can act and can transfer value, of dapps that are themselves platforms, of so many use cases the problem became just how to accommodate them.
As many celebrate on this third birthday, many look forwards to a breakthrough when blockchains truly scale by the number of nodes.
Sharding is as big as smart contracts because it may allow us to have everything on the blockchain while still allowing everyone to participate in the network by running a node on their laptop.
It would be the biggest upgrade of public blockchains since their invention in 2009, and it is then when the real digital revolution truly begins, in time, we hope, for the roaring 20s.
Thus like a todler, eth has learned to walk and even talk. His smart parents have even taught him some basic literacy and maths, preparing him for school when he will make many new friends. They grow too fast.