What is ethereum?
Ether is the second most valuable form of digital money after Bitcoin. The technology it runs on is called ethereum, which was first described by 19-year-old bitcoin programmer Vitalik Buterin in 2013.
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.
A smart contract is a computer protocol intended to facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. Smart contracts were first proposed by Nick Szabo in 1996.
Proponents of smart contracts claim that many kinds of contractual clauses may be made partially or fully self-executing, self-enforcing, or both. The aim with smart contracts is to provide security that is superior to traditional contract law and to reduce other transaction costs associated with contracting.
Smart contracts have been used primarily in association with cryptocurrencies.
Smart contracts are account holding objects on the ethereum blockchain. They contain code functions and can interact with other contracts, make decisions, store data, and send ether to others.