Ethereum is a very broad programming platform where a software developer can build games, financial applications, gambling applications, utility and logistics software, social networks, and pretty much everything we already use today.
Today, assorted companies, governments, and individuals all own various constituent parts of the internet, the machinery that keeps it running, and the data that lives on it. By contrast, Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain system, which means there is no central authority holding all the information used to create applications. Imagine a network of computers linked together throughout the globe: these computers verify each other’s work, anyone can run programs on them, and users can pay for only what they wish to use. This is how the Ethereum platform works.
Under the previous system, if you were to build a social network where the information is stored on one server, under one authority, then a central authority owns your information and may distribute or manipulate it however it pleases.
Without a central server, there is no central authority that can change or shut down these programs without the entire community knowing. If you upload data or provide identifying information, no one exerts control over it and no one owns it but you.
Ethereum was developed in 2014 by a nonprofit organization led by Vitalik Buterin, a programmer involved with Bitcoin, and Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, and Charles Hoskinson. Every day individuals across the globe are continuously contributing to the technology to help grow, facilitate, and enhance this groundbreaking platform.
One common misunderstanding is that Ethereum is a currency. It is not; Ether is the currency of the Ethereum ecosystem, an ecosystem that supports Dapps, transactions, data and records, and EDCCs. Ether is the gas that makes these tools go. To learn more about Ether, visit our Resources page.