What is Ethereum?

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform. Ethereum provides a cryptocurrency known as ether.

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs what are known as “smart contracts.” Smart contracts are applications that run on custom built blockchain, which functions on its own accord through rules programmed into the protocol, and which also makes decisions and keeps records based on consensus throughout a peer-to-peer network. A blockchain oversees its own activities without requiring any trust in a central authority or the other parties involved.  

Ethereum’s smart contracts run exactly as they are programmed without any possibility of fraud, censorship, downtime, or third-party interference. This feature enables developers to “create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with any type of instruction (like a futures contract), and more without the use of an intermediary and without the counterparty risk.  

Ethereum provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called ether, which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed.

Ethereum was developed by the Ethereum Foundation in the summer of 2014.