Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third party interference.
These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middleman or counterparty risk.
The project was bootstrapped via an ether presale in August 2014 by fans all around the world. It is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit, with contributions from great minds across the globe.
The Ethereum network went live on July 30th, 2015 with 72 million ether pre-mined.
Ethereum is often described as a digital currency but here’s something important to remember: Ethereum is much more than that. Yes, there is a token called ether and it is traded on cryptocurrency exchanges but Ethereum is more than just a digital currency.
It’s a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third party interference.