Introduced in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum is a decentralised, open-source blockchain platform designed to enable the creation and execution of smart contracts, which are self-executing agreements with predefined conditions. In essence, Ethereum is a programmable blockchain that allows developers to build and deploy decentralised applications (dapps) on its network.
Ethereum operates through a consensus mechanism called Proof of Stake (PoS). One of the Ethereum network’s key features is its native cryptocurrency, called Ether (ETH), which is used to facilitate transactions and incentivise participants on the network. Ether is also used as ‘gas’ to power the execution of smart contracts.
Ethereum distinguishes itself from Bitcoin by offering more than just a digital currency. It provides a platform for developers to create and deploy their own dapps, enabling a wide range of use cases beyond simple financial transactions. This includes decentralised finance (DeFi) applications, decentralised exchanges (DEXs), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Learn more about Ethereum.