What is Ethereum? – ALTCOIN MAGAZINE

Most people associate cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology with Bitcoin, but the technology has a vast number of potential applications in various industries that we have yet to see. Whilst Ethereum is also a distributed public blockchain network similar to Bitcoin, they differ in use cases and potential.

Bitcoin is purely a peer to peer electronic cash system, whilst Ethereum is a “Do it Yourself” blockchain platform for the development and deployment of decentralized applications (dApps) or smart contracts. The Ethereum network is the infrastructure for running these dApps and is not a currency, but a platform — with a goal to truly decentralize the internet. It currently has thousands of global computers or nodes running the network and making sure smart contracts execute as written and so is fully decentralized.

Think of the difference between something like a calculator and a smartphone, where a calculator [Bitcoin] does one thing and it does one thing well, but really people want to do all these other things. And if you have a smartphone [Ethereum] then on the smartphone you have a calculator as an app … and pretty much everything else. So basically taking that same kind of idea of increasing the power of the system by making it more general purpose and applying it to blockchains.

Vitalik Buterin (Co-Founder of Ethereum) on the issues with Bitcoin he is trying to solve in creating Ethereum

Ethereum is global, open-source and programmable with the ability to write code that controls digital value in a secure way, and accessible anywhere in the world. Building blockchain applications in the past required significant cost and resources, but now these applications can be built and deployed quickly and smoothly on the Ethereum platform, providing a foundation for:

  • Global access to an open financial system
  • An internet where users are in control of their own data
  • An internet with money and payments built-in
  • A decentralized internet controlled by no company…

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