What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain technology. Ethereum’s goal is to use blockchain to disrupt internet third parties such ID systems, advertising cookies, mortgage transfers and more to benefit everyone. Any developer can use the platform to build on it. To power the platform miners work to earn ether, a trade-able cryptocurrency.
What are its core features?
1. Ethereum Virtual Machine
Before Ethereum, blockchain applications were designed to do a very limited set of operations. For example, Bitcoin was intended to operate as a peer to peer currency solely. Developers faced a dilemma. Either develop a new blockchain application and an entirely new platform or increase the functions offered by Bitcoin and other types of applications which would be very complicated and time-consuming. Thus Ethereum was created as a solution. Regardless of the programming language, it enables anyone to run a program. The Ethereum Virtual Machine makes the process of creating blockchain applications much more efficient and easier than ever before. Instead of a developer having to build an entirely original blockchain for each new application, Ethereum allows the development of thousands of different applications all on one platform that can be invested in using Ether.
Any services that is currently centralized can be decentralized using Ethereum. There are so many intermediary services that exist across hundreds of different industries. From voting systems, regulatory compliance, mortgage transfers to financial instruments everything can change.
Also, Ethereum can be used to build Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO). It’s a fully autonomous, decentralized organization with no single leader which is written on the Ethereum blockchain, run by programming code on a collection of smart contacts. DAO is designed to replace the structure and rules of a traditional organization, eliminating the need for central control. A DAO can be owned by anyone who purchases tokens. Similar to equity shares and ownership, each token act as contributions that give people voting rights. In exchange for varying amounts of ether, people can buy DAO tokens.
Some examples of DAO intiatives are:
2. Smart Contracts
A Smart contract is used to describe computer code that can facilitate the exchange of money, property, content, or anything else of value. When running on the Ethereum blockchain a smart contract becomes like a self-operating computer program that automatically executes when predefined conditions are met. Because when smart contracts run on the blockchain, they will run exactly as programmed without any possibility of third party interference or censorship.
3. Returns control of your data to you
Using the example of online document services like DocHub or Google Sheets. Ethereum would return control of the data in these types of services to its owner and the creative rights to its author. No longer would one entity have control over your notes. Only the user can make changes, bringing the power back to the people.