Ethereum is a decentralised blockchain system that is aiming to become a global platform for decentralised applications. Ethereum features its own cryptocurrency, Ether, and also works as a platform for other cryptocurrencies. The network operates on a blockchain system where transactions are verified by nodes using Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus, which is a built-in consensus mechanism that is used by a cryptocurrency's network or validators.
Ethereum was founded by a large group of people who originally met in Switzerland in 2014, and the blockchain was launched the following year. Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood are the most well-known founders of the group. Vitalik authored the white paper that described Ethereum in 2013 and Wood coded the first technical implementation of Ethereum.
The project was developed by the Ethereum Foundation and it was first released in 2015 with the goal to create an alternative protocol for running decentralised apps, which would give users "control of their own data". In his white paper, Buterin suggested solving this issue via block size increases or a change in protocol layer solution, such as Segregated Witness (SegWit). The SegWit approach involves splitting components into separate files, instead of having them all combined. Today, this blockchain technology is used not only for cryptocurrency but for other uses including voting systems, supply chain management, smart contracts, and much more. Buterin used crowdfunding to fund the development of this idea into what we know today.
Other members of the group are Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Iorio, Mihai lsie, Joseph Lubin and Smir Chetrit.
Ethereum's unique concept is a blockchain smart contract platform that allows the cryptocurrency to execute smart technology contracts using the blockchain. Ethereum’s blockchain is also able to host other cryptocurrencies called tokens through its platform, which has proven to be the most common use for the ETH platform. The Ethereum Network is a decentralised distributed computing platform which can be used to verify and record transactions. It is an open software platform based on blockchain technology that facilitates the creation of applications using smart contracts and distributes them in a way that they are transparent, safe, fast and protected from censorship. The most important thing with this network is no one has control over the information or data being processed within it, and there are strict policies to ensure that all transactions remain honest.
Ethereum has been a major player in the altcoin markets and its price is often followed by traders.
Ethereum is secured via the Ethash proof-of-work algorithm an the Ethereum blockchain. Computers on the network verify and secure every ETH transaction in a similar way to the Bitcoin blockchain, making it extremely difficult for any third party to interfere.