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How long does ETH exist?

Ethereum (ETH) is a decentralized blockchain platform that runs smart contracts. ETH is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network. Since its launch in 2015, Ethereum has become one of the most widely used and influential blockchain platforms in the world. But how long has ETH actually existed? Let’s take a closer look at the history and origins of Ethereum to find out.

The Beginning of Ethereum

The idea for Ethereum was first proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a young programmer involved in the cryptocurrency space. Buterin envisioned Ethereum as a blockchain-based computing platform that could support decentralized applications and smart contracts.

In early 2014, Buterin formally announced his idea in a whitepaper titled “Ethereum: The Ultimate Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform”. Later that year in June, Buterin and a team of co-founders launched a crowdsale to help fund the development of Ethereum. The crowdsale helped raise over $18 million by selling the native ETH token to early backers.

Ethereum Frontier Release

After a year of active development from its co-founders and community, the first live release of Ethereum known as Frontier was launched on July 30, 2015. This marked the genesis of the Ethereum mainnet and the beginning of ETH as a publicly tradable cryptocurrency.

The first transactions of ETH between addresses officially happened in Frontier. At its launch, the price of 1 ETH was around $0.30 USD and the initial supply was approximately 72 million ETH.

Homestead and Early Growth

The Homestead release in March 2016 upgraded Ethereum to a more secure and scalable version. Homestead included improvements to transaction processing and security features like gas costs. Ethereum began to gain traction with more developers building decentralized apps (dapps) on its platform.

By mid-2016, hundreds of dapps were being created, raising the profile and utility of Ethereum and ETH. The price of ETH started rising quickly from around $10 in March 2016 to over $230 by December as interest grew.

The DAO Hack

In April 2016, a project called The DAO built on Ethereum raised $150 million USD worth of ETH to fund its operations. It was one of the earliest and most successful Ethereum-based funding projects at the time. However, in June 2016, hackers exploited a vulnerability in The DAO’s code to drain $50 million worth of ETH from the project.

To recover the stolen funds for investors, Ethereum executed a hard fork in July 2016. This fork rolled back transactions on the Ethereum blockchain and caused a split between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, preserving The DAO’s funds on the Ethereum side. The ability to coordinate and recover from the hack showcased Ethereum’s resilience as a new public blockchain.

Metropolis, Byzantium, and Constantinople

Following the hard fork, Ethereum developers began implementing upgrades as part of a multi-phase upgrade plan called Metropolis. The first part, Byzantium, activated in October 2017 and included security enhancements as well as capabilities for private transactions.

In February 2019, the Constantinople upgrade activated, introducing better scalability and efficiency for the Ethereum blockchain. Both forks helped cement Ethereum’s standing as a mature public blockchain for decentralized finance and applications.

Hard Fork Date Activated
Byzantium October 16, 2017
Constantinople February 28, 2019

Ethereum’s Ongoing Advancements

Development continues on improving Ethereum’s capabilities. The Istanbul hard fork activated in December 2019, introducing further optimisations. Ethereum’s next major milestone dubbed Ethereum 2.0 aims to enhance scalability and security through upgrades like proof-of-stake consensus.

After Ethereum 2.0 fully launches over multiple phases, Ethereum will be able to handle hundreds of transactions per second, boosting its utility as a global settlement layer and solidifying its position as the second largest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin.

Ethereum Milestones

Milestone Date
Ethereum Whitepaper Published November 2013
Ethereum Crowdsale July to August 2014
Ethereum Frontier Launch July 30, 2015
Homestead Release March 2016
The DAO Hack June 2016
Byzantium Fork October 2017
Constantinople Fork February 2019
Istanbul Fork December 2019


In summary, the Ethereum network and ETH token have been in existence publicly since July 2015 with the launch of Frontier. Ethereum has undergone various upgrades and hard forks over the years to improve functionality and address issues.

From humble beginnings in 2014, Ethereum and its native ETH cryptocurrency have become pillars of the blockchain ecosystem. ETH enables decentralized applications built on Ethereum to operate securely and provides utility as a digital currency and investment.

After over 8 years of advancement, Ethereum is now established as the most widely utilized programmable blockchain with ETH being the second most valuable cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. As Ethereum continues evolving to meet its scaling goals, ETH is positioned to enable the next generation of digital finance and decentralized services.