Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain-based platform that enables smart contracts using an asset called ether. Anyone can create programs on the network, and for that reason, the ecosystem has garnered attention from Microsoft, Imogen Heap, and Deloitte. In 2016, Microsoft launched the Ethereum Consortium Blockchain Network on Azure to allow companies on the platform to set up their own private blockchain. But that wasn’t the only activity on Ethereum in 2016. One of the most prominent apps developed on the network was the DAO, which earlier this year crowdfunded a $150 million investment fund. That investment was dogged by a hacker, causing the platform to split multiple times in an effort to limit the bad actor’s ability to steal funds.
While the DAO failure caused concern among users, Ethereum is still poised for interesting growth in 2017. In December 2016, Ethereum-based company Consensys was selected by the United Arab Emirates Future Accelerators Fund to participate in a 12-week program and eventually to work on a pilot project for the city of Dubai. It’s still very early days for the Ethereum blockchain, but there seems to be a lot of potential for corporate adoption.