What is Ethereum? All You Need To Know

In the world of blockchain technology, Ethereum stands out as a beacon of innovation and possibility. Introduced to the world by Vitalik Buterin in 2015, it is not merely a cryptocurrency; it’s a robust decentralized platform that redefines the way we conceive and execute transactions.

With its native cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH), and the groundbreaking concept of smart contracts, Ethereum has opened the doors to a new era of decentralized applications (DApps) and programmable blockchain capabilities. In this guide to learn forex with Brokerland, we embark on a journey to explore ‘what is Ethereum’, from its foundations to its extensive implications in the crypto space and beyond.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain platform and open-source project that enables the creation and execution of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). Proposed by Vitalik Buterin in late 2013, its development began in early 2014, and the network was officially launched on July 30, 2015.

Ether (ETH) is the native cryptocurrency of this platform, used to compensate participants who perform computations and validate network transactions. This blockchain is designed as an all-encompassing platform that goes beyond value transfer (like Bitcoin) and allows developers to create programmable and self-executing smart contracts.

Smart contracts are computer programs that automatically execute the terms of a pre-defined agreement when specific conditions are met. These contracts are stored on the Ethereum blockchain and are resistant to tampering, providing transparency and resistance to manipulation.

Due to its potential to transform various industries, from finance and supply chain to healthcare and gaming, Ethereum has gained significant attention and acceptance. The platform’s ability to support the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) has also been a noteworthy aspect of its development.

Smart Contracts: As mentioned, one of Ethereum’s defining features is the introduction of smart contracts. These are self-executing contracts directly written in code that automatically execute when pre-defined conditions are met. Smart contracts operate without intermediaries, offering a transparent and tamper-resistant way to execute agreements.

What is Ethereum?

Decentralized Applications (DApps): Ethereum’s design empowers developers to create decentralized applications (DApps) that run on the blockchain. These DApps span a wide range of industries, from financial services and supply chain to healthcare and gaming. The decentralized nature of these applications enhances security, transparency, and immutability for digital processes, challenging traditional centralized models.

Ethereum 2.0: Recognizing the need for scalability, Ethereum has initiated a significant upgrade called ETH 2.0. The goal of this multi-phase upgrade is to enhance the platform’s speed, security, and stability. ETH 2.0 addresses previous scalability challenges by transitioning from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism, ushering in a new era of performance and accessibility.

Beyond Cryptocurrencies: What role and impact does Ethereum play beyond the crypto world? It has made significant strides in influencing various industries and sectors. Its ability to facilitate the creation of decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) enables communities to make collective decisions without centralized governance. Its impact on the financial world, particularly through decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, has been noteworthy, allowing users to access financial services without relying on traditional institutions.

What is Ether (ETH)?

Ether (ETH) is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. It serves various functions within this ecosystem, playing a crucial role in facilitating transactions and supporting the execution of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). Here are its primary functions:

  • Exchange: Similar to traditional currencies like the US Dollar or Euro, Ether can be used for medium of exchange. Users can send and receive Ether as a form of value transfer on the Ethereum network, whether for transactions or holding in crypto wallets, be it hardware wallets or crypto wallets for Android.
  • Transaction Fees: Ether is used to pay for transaction fees on the Ethereum network. When users initiate transactions or execute smart contracts, they need to allocate a specific amount of Ether to compensate miners or validators for processing and verifying those transactions, preventing network abuse and ensuring participants have a financial stake.
  • Gas: Gas refers to the computational cost required to execute operations on the network. Each operation in a contract or smart transaction consumes a certain amount of gas, determining the cost of the transaction or contract execution. Users use ETH to pay for gas.
  • Execution of Smart Contracts: Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with predefined conditions directly written in code. Ether is essential for executing these contracts, as it provides the computational processes needed to run code on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
  • Network Security Participation: In the current ETH network, consensus is achieved through the Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism. Miners use computational power to solve complex mathematical problems, and the miner who solves it first receives the right to add a new block to the blockchain, earning newly created Ether and transaction fees. For a better understanding of this concept, you can read the article on Bitcoin mining and mining pools.

It’s worth noting that Ethereum, as part of Ethereum 2.0, is transitioning from PoW to Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism. In the new PoS model, participants lock a certain amount of Ether as collateral, and validators, based on the amount of Ether they hold and are willing to stake, are selected to create new blocks and validate transactions.

Is Ether a Stablecoin?

No, Ether (ETH) is not a stablecoin or a meme coin. Stablecoins are a type of crypto currency designed to have a stable value usually pegged to the value of a fiat currency like the US Dollar or a related commodity, such as Tether (USDT) or USD Coin (USDC). The primary goal of stablecoins is to minimize the volatility often associated with other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.

In contrast, Ether is a native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, and its value is subject to market forces and fluctuations. The price of ETH is determined by the dynamics of supply and demand in the open market. As a result, the value of Ether can experience significant fluctuations and is not tied to any external asset.

While Ether is not a stablecoin, stablecoins like USDT, USDC, and DAI exist on the Ethereum blockchain. They are designed to maintain a stable value while leveraging the infrastructure and capabilities of the network.

Comparison of Ether and Bitcoin

Now that we know what is Ethereum and become acquainted with its native crypto, let’s make a comparison between Ether and Bitcoin. This comparison involves considering their respective features, use cases, and the foundational goals of their blockchain networks. It’s essential to note that the concept of “better” depends on individual preferences, investment goals, and specific objectives for which these cryptocurrencies are considered. Here are a few key points for comparison:

Comparison of Ether and Bitcoin

Objective and Use Cases

BTC was created as a decentralized cryptocurrency with the goal of providing an alternative to traditional fiat currencies. It primarily functions as a store of value and  medium of exchange exchange. On the other hand, ETH is a native crypto of the Ethereum platform. While it can be used as a medium of exchange, its main objective is to facilitate transactions and smart contracts within the ecosystem.

Blockchain Technology in BTC and Ethereum

BTC utilizes the Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism, where miners compete to solve complex mathematical problems to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain. ETH, on the other hand, uses the Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus mechanism and has plans for a complete transition to Ethereum 2.0. PoS involves validators selected based on the amount of crypto they hold and are willing to stake as collateral.

Supply Constraints of Bitcoin and Ethereum

Bitcoin has a capped supply of 21 million coins, turning it into a deflationary asset. This scarcity is often cited as a factor contributing to its potential value as a store of value. Ethereum, in contrast, has no fixed supply, and new Ether can be created through the consensus mechanism currently in use, either through mining or staking.

Smart Contracts and Applications

While BTC introduced the concept of a decentralized currency, it does not support complex smart contracts or decentralized applications (DApps). Ethereum, designed as a platform for smart contracts and DApps, allows developers to create programmable agreements and decentralized applications on its blockchain.


Historically, Bitcoin was perceived as volatile, but it gained recognition as digital gold and a hedge against inflation. Ether, more associated with the development and adoption of decentralized applications, can also experience volatility but may be influenced by specific factors within the Ethereum ecosystem.

Ultimately, whether Ether or Bitcoin is considered “better” depends on individual preferences, investment strategies, and specific use cases. Both crypto currencies have unique features and contribute to the broader crypto ecosystem in different ways. It is crucial for investors and users to conduct thorough research and consider their financial goals and risk tolerance before making decisions.


This article extensively explored “what is Ethereum” and delved into its various aspects, using the Brokerland website. Ethereum, as a decentralized platform, has become a catalyst for transformative changes in the crypto landscape. From introducing smart contracts to the ongoing evolution with ETH 2.0, the platform remains at the forefront of blockchain innovation.

As we move towards a decentralized future, Ethereum acts as a guiding light, inspiring new features and reshaping industries. Its journey is underway, and as it continues to evolve, its impact on the world of technology, financial matters, and beyond will endure. The decentralized, transparent, and programmable nature of Ethereum showcases its potential to drive transformative blockchain technology in shaping a more widespread and efficient crypto world.

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