Ethereum is a next-generation smart contract and decentralized application platform.
Ethereum is a decentralized network (often referred to as “the world computer”), created by Vitalik Buterin in 2013. Its network consists of an open-source, globally decentralized computing infrastructure, which executes programs called smart contracts. This network is fueled by a cryptocurrency named ether (ETH).
- Since its ICO in 2015, Ethereum has relied on Proof of Work (PoW). Ethereum’s first block was mined in July 2015, although plans have been made to migrate to a Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus model, despite several setbacks.
- Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum is based on an account model (vs. UTXO) to record state changes. At its core, Ethereum relies on a Virtual Machine (EVM) with two types of addresses: externally owned addresses (EOAs) and contract addresses that are deployed on the EVM.
- As of March 2020, Ethereum was the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. It has popularized the use of smart contracts, and thousands of teams are working on third-party solutions on the network for real business applications.
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