Although practically everyone on the planet has heard of Bitcoin by now, many people are not familiar with other types of cryptocurrency. Ethereum, for instance, is powered by a decentralized platform that boasts smart contracts. For a multitude of reasons, Ethereum has become one of the frontrunners for the most popular cryptocurrency. As popular as bitcoin is, and as much name recognition as it has, there are no smart contracts. Smart contracts provide investors with a sense of security, which is perhaps why Coinbase added Ethereum to its roster of currencies to trade. Within the industry, even just a positive comment from Coinbase executives can cause new coins or ICOs (initial coin offerings) to skyrocket in value. Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian is particularly bullish on the future of Ethereum, hoping that he sees the coin reaching a whopping $1,500 before the year is out.

Perhaps one of the reasons for Ethereum’s success has been the relative openness of its founder, Vitalik Buterin. The ability to program this digital currency to one’s specifications has been what makes people fall in love with it. As far as scalability and adaptability goes, Ethereum has been dazzling a lot of people in the crypto field—and even those who work on Wall Street.

When people use Ethereum instead of using a centralized system that is more traditional, they allow themselves to cut out the middleman. For example, whenever a consumer makes a credit card transaction, they are putting a middleman between themselves and the merchant. The goal of Ethereum posits that we should be able to make direct transactions that don’t involve banks, credit card companies or other third parties. This concept is indeed a game changer, which is why cryptocurrency has caught the attention of many federal regulators and even been banned in several countries.

However, many startups have been capitalizing upon the potential of Ethereum, and these people are betting on the crypto’s big potential. Lending Club and uPort are both disruptive applications that are poised to change the way credit is checked and the manner in which home loans are made. Although Ethereum is still new to many, its vast applications and benefits have made it one of the most revered and highly respected cryptocurrencies available on the market today.