In brief terms Ethereum is an open programming platform built on blockchain technology. It's used for creation of decentralized applications of all kinds. Also Ethereum is used for cryptocurrency transactions. It has its own currency called Ether or ETH. What are its special features and what can Ethereum do for you?Short Guide to Ethereum When was Ethereum founded?
It was founded in 2014 by Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin. His main idea was to create a blockchain platform like Bitcoin but with more functions. But what's the real difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum?
Bitcoin is used only for cryptocurrency transactions. Ethereum was created mainly for writing applications running on so-called "smart contracts". Though you can use Ethereum for cryptocurrency transactions it's not the main purpose of its existence. That's why in fact Ethereum looks more promising than Bitcoin. Ethereum is not just about cryptocurrency. It's universal and multifunctional. Without any doubt in the nearest future Ethereum will become № 1 blockchain platform in the world. What is a smart contract?
It's a self-executing program based on blockchain technology. In order to verify a smart contract you'll need a digital signature. A smart contract
can be used for many goals like payments for goods or services or for establishing ICO (initial coin offering). Smart contracts can be rather simple or include a lot of additional functions or terms. In many ways they are alike to written contracts. And what is ICO?
It's a digital crowdfunding campaign. When you need money for your start-up, you can release tokens. Your investors will buy them for Ether. Now you have the money, and your investors have tokens and can sell them for a higher price if your start-up is a success. Every ICO campaign is based on a smart contract which defines its terms and conditions. It executes automatically. For example, if an ICO campaign fails to reach its money cap by a certain date, all the investors immediately get their money back. What are tokens? Are they like shares?
Some of them are really like shares that convey dividend rights to investors. But in most cases you can exchange or resell them and make money but they don't give the right to receive dividends or to determine the company policies. What are the benefits of Ethereum?
It has all the advantages of the blockchain technology. First of all it's safe. Second, it perfectly combines confidentiality and transparency. Third, Ethereum programming isn't very complicated. But because it's based on Turing complete language Solidity it's possible to create really complicated smart-contracts with many functions and additional terms. How can I create my own Ethereum wallet?
Just go to www.myetherwallet.com. Enter a strong password consisting of several numbers, letters and symbols. Right it down and keep somewhere in a safe place! Than enter this password and generate a new wallet. Download your keystore file and private key and also keep them in some safe place. Later you can use them for authorization. Where can I buy or sell ETH?
It's possible to buy, sell or exchange ETH for other currencies or "real" money using popular cryptocurrency exchanges like eToro or Coinbase. You can also earn ETH for participating in ICO bounty campaigns e.g. posting, blogging, re-tweeting, etc. Or you can get paid by ETH for your services or goods. Why do I need Ethereum?
Right now it's the easiest way to invest and save your money because ETH is rising every day. You can also use Etherium for writing your own decentralized application or launching your ICO campaign. Or you can just buy tokens and support someone else's ICO hoping it'll become a huge success.