Ethereum is a decentralised, open-source blockchain that includes smart contract capabilities. It is currently in beta testing. The cryptocurrency Ether (ETH or ) is the platform's native coin. Ether is the second most valuable cryptocurrency in the world, behind only Bitcoin in terms of market value.
Vitalik Buterin, a programmer, came up with the idea for Ethereum in 2013. The network became online on July 30, 2015, after the start of development work in 2014, which was financed via crowdsourcing. Anyone may use the platform to build permanent and immutable decentralised apps, with which users can engage, and anyone can use the platform to host decentralised applications. Decentralized finance (DeFi) applications provide a broad range of banking products without the need for traditional financial intermediaries such as brokerages, exchanges, or banks. For example, cryptocurrency users can borrow against their holdings or lend them out for interest using DeFi applications, rather than traditional financial intermediaries. Additionally, Ethereum enables for the production and trading of NFTs, which are non-transferable tokens that are linked to digital works of art or other tangible real-world objects and sold as unique pieces of digital property. Aside from that, several other cryptocurrencies function as ERC-20 tokens on top of the Ethereum blockchain and have taken use of the platform to launch initial coin offers (ICOs).