Ethereum is an open-source, globally decentralized blockchain platform that runs programs called smart contracts. The Ethereum platform enables developers to create powerful web applications - called decentralized applications (Dapps) - with built-in economic functions. These Dapps are a rapidly growing movement that use Ethereum to disrupt business models and create entirely new ones. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum’s main purpose is not simply to be a cryptocurrency network. Rather, it is designed to be a general-purpose programmable blockchain. It runs a virtual machine capable of executing complex code which is why it is often referred to as a “world computer”.
Ethereum has its own native currency called ether (ETH). While ETH is essential for the Ethereum blockchain, it was originally intended as a utility currency to pay for the use of the platform - akin to the fuel of the network. Every transaction on Ethereum requires Gas. Given ETH’s imperative role in the rapidly growing Ethereum ecosystem, it is increasingly viewed as money or a store of value by the community similar to BTC.
Photo by Daniil Silantev