What is Ethereum (ETH)?
Ethereum is a technology that's home to digital money, global payments, and applications.
Ethereum is an open-source community-run technology powering it’s own cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and thousands of other applications. LikeBitcoin, Ethereum lets you use digital money without payment providers or banks. But Ethereum is also programmable, so can be used for lots of different digital assets.
Ethereum’s own virtual machine (EVM) and scripting language tracks changes (transactions confirmed on the blockchain) as well as potential changes yet to occur. These multi-step computing functions are called smart contracts.
Ethereum uses proof-of-work mining to power its blockchain. Miners use computer energy to solve puzzles needed to create blocks, then batch transactions into new blocks roughly every 12 seconds.
Developers write smart contracts then deploy this code on the Ethereum blockchain. All computers running the software maintain a copy of the EVM which translates the smart contracts and executes their changes in transactions on the blockchain.
Who created Ethereum?
The Ethereum blockchain was built in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood.
Buterin later received a Thiel Fellowship allowing him to pursue Ethereum full time, and began creating a non-profit to help launch the project.
In early 2014, the Ethereum Foundation sold 72 million ETH in an online crowdsale. This which roughly US$18 million in funding for the effort.
Major banks and institutions embraced Ethereum utilising its open-source code to create proof-of-concepts and R&D initiatives in 2015 and 2016.
Ethereum has attracted a passionate community of users, many of whom continue to spearhead its development today.
Why invest in Ethereum?
Ethereum has shown us a unique and revolutionary use case of blockchain: smart contracts. A smart contract is essentially a computing function that executes automatically where certain conditions are satisfied.
The use of smart contracts allows individuals to build applications on the Ethereum blockchain. This has created a new ecosystem where programs can be built and executed in a decentralised fashion.
The Ethereum blockchain can be used as a platform for people to launch their own tokens and projects. Larger constructions of many smart contracts are the basis of decentralized applications (dapps). These programs could one day make software that mimics some of the world’s largest internet companies, creating competitive markets to these now-monopolistic services.
Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency (Ether) is used for transactions on the Ethereum blockchain, whether for a pay-to-play game, a trade on a DeFi exchange, or for buying anNFT. Any applications or protocols operating on top of Ethereum must continually purchase and spend ether, creating a continued demand for the asset.