Ethereum has been one of the best performing digital assets this year, due to the Ethereum Foundation’s smart partnerships strategy of introducing the network to a large pool of large-scale commercial operations and organizations.

On March 13, Cointelegraph reported that Ethereum reached its all-time high price of $30 as a result of the formation of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and the involvement of some of the most valuable companies in the world, including Microsoft, JP Morgan and IBM.

Since then, Ethereum price has already surpassed $50 in a period of weeks, surging by 60 percent since hitting its previous all-time high price only 15 days ago. In fact, on March 17, Ethereum price reached $54.

ETH/USD chartRecognizing the rapid growth of Ethereum in terms of market cap and development community, Hudson Jameson, and a member of the Ethereum Foundation, shared the roadmap of Ethereum for the year 2017.

Roadmap moving forward

Over the past two years, Ethereum developers and its foundation focused on increasing flexibility and functionality of the Ethereum network. In its first release called Frontier, the Ethereum Foundation allowed developers and businesses to test the Ethereum network and its adaptability to real-life applications.

Then, the Homestead release was introduced in March 2016 for commercial companies and large-scale projects to utilize the Ethereum network for building production-ready platforms. This is the period wherein major corporations including IBM officially started the development of Ethereum-based applications and platforms.

The current version of Ethereum is a more evolved version of the initial Homestead release in the sense that a wide range of companies from multi-billion dollar banks to tech giants such as Microsoft are utilizing Ethereum to process data and smart contracts. In bringing these corporations into Ethereum, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance played a major role.

In an interview with ETHNews, Jameson stated that in three to six months, a new version of Ethereum called Metropolis will be released and with this update, the foundation plans on enabling smart contracts that can settle fees autonomously, without receiving manual approvals from users.

The release of Metropolis is expected to increase developments within the Ethereum ecosystem and bring in more large-scale businesses into the ecosystem to develop decentralized applications. Since IBM and other organizations within the Linux-led Hyperledger Foundation are already working on Ethereum-based projects like the Hyperledger Fabric, the Ethereum Foundation including Jameson expect to see some major progress in the Ethereum network as well as its development community.

The ultimate goal of the Ethereum Foundation for 2017 is to follow the vision of Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and make a move from a proof of work to a proof of stake protocol. According to Jameson, this transition will be made in the update from Metropolis to Serenity. The switch of protocols will greatly impact and alter the Ethereum network in terms of mining and efficiency of the network itself.