Ethereum, developed with the aid of a crowdfund in 2014, is a blockchain ecosystem with features absent in bitcoin, such as its faster transaction speed and its ability to execute “smart contracts. ” Smart contracts are self-executing contracts based on agreed-upon stipulations of two parties that remove the need for intermediaries, allowing the transfer of value between the parties.
Like bitcoin, the Ethereum blockchain is public and transparent. A blockchain is simply a distributed ledger that shows all transactions between users of a platform. The Ethereum cryptocurrency, also like bitcoin, is currently mineable. The unit of the Ethereum cryptocurrency is referred to as “Ether.”
Vitalik Buterin, the cofounder of Ethereum, explains in this video what Ethereum is:
Ethereum allows for the building of decentralized applications on top of its blockchain, leading to a movement away from monopolies and concentrations of power. It allows for the disruption of numerous industries by allowing users to transact with one another without middlemen.
The Ethereum platform is continually evolving to meet the needs of users and businesses. Currently, development is taking place to allow the platform to scale for mainstream adoption and to make it more privacy-centered. Thousands of developers from around the world are working together to continuously improve the platform and are building applications to run on top of it.
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