Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third party interference.
Ethereum is a public blockchain-based distributed computing platform, featuring smart contract functionality. It provides a decentralized virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes.
Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called “ether”, which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed. “Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.
Ethereum was proposed in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale that took place between July and August 2014. The system went live on 30 July 2015, with 72 million coins “premined”. This accounts for about 15% of the total circulating supply as of 2019.
In 2016, as a result of the collapse of The DAO project, Ethereum was split into two separate blockchains – the new separate version became Ethereum (ETH), and the original continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC). The value of the ether token grew from about US$0.30 in early 2017 to US$850 by January 2018.
What is the Ethereum Upgrade?
The Ethereum upgrade is a system-wide upgrade to improve the function and efficiency of the Ethereum network. The upgrade will include changes to the way transactions are processed, as well as improvements to security and scalability.
The goal of the upgrade is to make Ethereum more user-friendly and increase its adoption by businesses and individuals.