Glossary > Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is a decentralized global software platform powered by blockchain technology. It is most commonly known for its native cryptocurrency, ether (ETH). It has been created in 2015 by the programmer Vitalik Buterin. ETH is currently the second-largest crypto by market capitalization.
The founders of Ethereum were among the first to consider the full potential of blockchain technology beyond just enabling the secure virtual payment method. Since the launch of Ethereum, ether as a cryptocurrency has risen to become the second-largest cryptocurrency by market value. It is outranked only by Bitcoin.
Anyone can use ETH to build secure digital technology. There are tokens designed to pay for work that supports the Blockchain, and participants can also use them to pay for tangible goods and services if accepted. Ethereum is designed to be scalable, programmable, secure and decentralized. It is an alternative blockchain for developers and enterprises creating technology based upon it to change how many industries operate and how we go about our daily lives.
The Ethereum blockchain differs from the Bitcoin blockchain. It allows users to build decentralized applications (DApps) that run on their own, like a decentralized computing platform.
Ethereum is often compared to Bitcoin. Founders and developers describe Ethereum as the world’s programmable blockchain, positioning itself as an electronic, programmable network with many applications. The Bitcoin blockchain, by contrast, was created only to support the bitcoin cryptocurrency.
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