To start with, Ethereum is a blockchain-powered platform with its own cryptocurrency – Ether (ETH). And this very Ether's price has literally exploded recently. In December only, the cryptocurrency managed to hit a new lifetime high and reach $900 per one token (which is nearly 77% rise). Yet, within a couple of days, it has already lost its position and lowered to $800. The analysts say that if it goes down at least below $780 then the currency will fall even deeper. On the contrary, if the price fixes at this level, the chances to reach a $995.99 target are high.

Challenges Ethereum faces along with other blockchain platforms

However, despite such a price hike, there're still some talks about the problems blockchain platforms face at the moment, Ethereum included. For example, Preethi Kasireddy, Blockchain and Smart Contract Engineer, has outlined some of them in her blog post:
low scalability and privacy,
lack of governance and standards,
unsustainable consensus mechanisms,
lack of formal contract verification,
storage constraints and others.

Preethi also underlines that we should move from focusing on ICOs to concentrating on the real technical challenges and ways to solve them.

Well, she's right to some extent, as the Bitcoin headache with transactions starts haunting Ethereum as well. Lately, the users noted that the processing of transactions has slowed down, and sometimes it even took 3+ hours to send Ethers. Some accuse CryptoKitties of that (you must have heard about this blockchain-based video game, where you can buy and grow a virtual pet).

Right after the project release, a real frenzy with digital pets has started, which resulted in scaling issues. The network was busy itself when numerous CryptoKitties transactions boomed. In 4 days since the launch, they already reached 11.77% of all the Ethereum transactions. As a result, the gas fees increased and the network delays were observed, as Ethereum can simultaneously run maximum 30 transactions per second.

Currently, the transactions speed has already restored a bit, but Vitalik Buterin and other Ethereum developers continue looking for the scaling solutions. The most significant part of their job lies in switching from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS). Such a move can be justified by trying to solve the issue with the consensus mechanisms. PoS protocol (in the case of Ethereum, it's called Casper), will need less electricity and little to no mining resources, be that software or hardware. The developers also consider other scaling solutions, like Plasma, Sharding and Raiden Network, yet the focus is on Casper.
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