Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third party interference.
In 2014, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin envisioned a platform that would go beyond the simple Bitcoin protocol by allowing developers to create decentralized applications. He proposed building a blockchain with a built-in programming language that would allow for people to create smart contracts.
The Ethereum whitepaper was published in November 2013.
Ethereum was crowdfunded in July 2014 with 11.9 million ether (ETH) worth $18.
4 million raised. The ETH token sale was the largest crowdfunding campaign at the time and ETH quickly became one of the most traded digital assets on cryptocurrency exchanges.
The Ethereum network went live on 30 July 2015 with 72 million ETH mined in the Genesis block. Since then, the Ethereum network has grown and scale with new features and improvements being constantly added by the Ethereum development team.
The EVM is a sandboxed virtual machine that allows for the execution of arbitrary code so long as it abides by certain constraints set forth by the network. This allows for distributed apps (DApps) and smart contracts to be run on the Ethereum network without fear of fraud or third party interference.
Ethereum’s popularity has led to it becoming one of the most active development communities in the blockchain space with hundreds of developers working on Ethereum-based projects. The Solidity team is constantly working on improving the language and making it more user-friendly for developers.