Ethereum is a general purpose blockchain used to create a global network of decentralized applications and organizations utilizing it’s smart contract technology.

“Where Bitcoin is intentionally dumbed down in its capabilities, the scripts run by Ethereum are stateful and Tursing-complete.”

Diedrich, Henning. Ethereum: Blockchains, Digital Assets, Smart Contracts, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. Wildfire, 2016.

ethereum (Wikipedia)
Ethereum
The Ethereum Project's logo, first used in 2014
The Ethereum Project's logo, first used in 2014
Initial release 30 July 2015
Repository github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum
Development status Active
Written in C++, Go, Rust
Operating system Clients available for Linux, Windows, macOS, POSIX, Raspbian
Platform x86, ARM
Type Decentralized computing
License GPLv3, LGPLv3
Website www.ethereum.org

Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract (scripting) functionality. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete 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 late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale between July and August of 2014. The system went live on 30 July 2015, with 11.9 million coins "premined" for the crowdsale. This accounts for approximately 13 percent of the total circulating supply.

In 2016 Ethereum was forked into two separate blockchains, as a result of the collapse of The DAO project, thereby creating Ethereum Classic. The new forked version was Ethereum (ETH) and the one that continued its existence is Ethereum Classic (ETC).

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