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May 5, 2021

Stepping into the Ether

Understanding Ether and Ethereum


Bitcoin may have been the first cryptocurrency AND the first application of blockchain technology for storing and transferring digital assets. But Ethereum is taking blockchain technology even further.

What is Ethereum?

Since its introduction in 2015, Ethereum has become the most actively used blockchain in the world. It is the first platform to allow “smart contracts” that have the potential to streamline business processes around the world.

These “smart contracts” allow users to go beyond simply transferring payments to enabling the implementation of if/then logic into money itself. For example, you could program a contract to approve transactions at the grocery store, but also decline transactions at the candy store. Though this is a very simplified example, this type of self-executing code can automatically implement the terms of agreements between parties when conditions are met.

Ethereum introduces this into every asset – significantly expanding the world’s choices for interacting with money and enabling the development of decentralized applications that use smart contracts as their backend servers. Because it allows properties previously unseen on the internet, Ethereum is, in a sense, the next iteration of the internet.

What is Ether?

Ether (ETH), the cryptocurrency that powers the Ethereum blockchain, is now the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Upon inception, 72 million ETH were created and sold. Each year, new supply is capped at an additional 16 million ETH in order to help prevent inflation. Like with bitcoin, ETH miners who successfully package transactions into blocks and upload them to the blockchain receive “block rewards.”

Consider that:

  • Ethereum is the most actively used blockchain in the world
  • Ether is the cryptocurrency that powers the growing network (and earns a cut of all transaction fees)
  • Ether incentivizes the operations of transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.

How is Ether stored?

As with bitcoin, keeping Ether safe and secure can be a challenge. Most individuals keep their private keys in either “paper wallets,” “hardware wallets,” “hot wallets” or “cold storage,” and each method has unique advantages and disadvantages.

Learn more about crypto

Blockchain technologies like Ethereum are not only changing the ways we interact with money, but also the face of the internet itself. Learn more about Ether and the role it can play in your portfolio.

Or you can read about why to invest in Ether, where we’ll discuss why now may be the right time to consider investing in Ether and how to incorporate it into your portfolio.

About the Author

Galaxy Digital

Galaxy Asset Management LP is a diversified investment management company with a team of long-tenured institutional experienced professionals managing third-party capital across traditional and alternative asset classes, with strong relationships and connectivity in the digital asset, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology sector.


This document is provided as a general source of information and should not be considered personal, legal, accounting, tax or investment advice, or construed as an endorsement or recommendation of any entity or security discussed. Every effort has been made to ensure that the material contained in this document is accurate at the time of publication.  Market conditions may change which may impact the information contained in this document. All charts and illustrations in this document are for illustrative purposes only. They are not intended to predict or project investment results. Individuals should seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, regarding any particular investment. Investors should consult their professional advisors prior to implementing any changes to their investment strategies. 


Certain statements contained in this communication are based in whole or in part on information provided by third parties and CI Global Asset Management has taken reasonable steps to ensure their accuracy. Market conditions may change which may impact the information contained in this document.


CI Global Asset Management is a registered business name of CI Investments Inc.


©CI Investments Inc. 2021.  All rights reserved. 


Published April 28, 2021