Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference. These applications are run on a custom-built blockchain, which is an open, decentralized, and transparent ledger that records all transactions.
Ethereum was created in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, a Russian-Canadian programmer. It was designed to be a more flexible and versatile version of Bitcoin, with the goal of enabling developers to build and deploy a wide range of decentralized applications.
How does Ethereum work?
Ethereum works using a technology called blockchain. The blockchain is a decentralized ledger that records all transactions that take place on the Ethereum network. It is distributed, meaning that each copy of the ledger is identical.
Ethereum’s blockchain is different from Bitcoin’s in that it allows for smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. When a contract is created, it is stored on the blockchain, and it can be executed automatically when certain conditions are met.
Ethereum also has its own programming language, called Solidity, which is used to write smart contracts and decentralized applications.
What is Ether?
Ether (ETH) is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum platform. It is used to pay for transactions and resources on the Ethereum network, such as smart contracts and decentralized applications. It is also used as a store of value and can be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.
How do I get Ether?
There are a few ways to get Ether:
- Buy Ether: You can buy Ether on a cryptocurrency exchange, such as Coinbase or Kraken. You will need to create an account, verify your identity, and link a payment method (such as a bank account or credit card). Once your account is set up, you can buy Ether using your local currency.
- Mine Ether: You can also “mine” Ether by using your computer to verify transactions on the Ethereum network. This process involves solving complex mathematical problems, and it is how new Ether is created. However, mining can be resource-intensive, and it may not be practical for most people.
- Accept Ether as payment: If you own a business, you can choose to accept Ether as payment for goods or services. This can be a good way to get Ether if you are unable to buy it or mine it.
How do I use Ether?
Once you have Ether, you can use it to make transactions on the Ethereum network, such as paying for goods or services, or participating in smart contracts. To make a transaction, you will need an Ethereum wallet. A wallet is a software program that stores your Ether and allows you to send and receive Ether. There are several types of wallets available, including mobile, desktop, and hardware wallets.
To make a transaction, you will need to provide the recipient with your Ethereum address, which is a long string of numbers and letters that represents your wallet. The recipient will then send the Ether to your wallet, and the transaction will be recorded on the blockchain.
It’s important to note that Ethereum transactions are irreversible, so be sure to double-check the address and amount before sending.
Is Ethereum safe?
Ethereum is generally considered to be a safe platform, but it is not without risk. As with any cryptocurrency, the value of Ether can fluctuate, and you may lose money if the value declines. It is also important to keep your Ether secure.
Be sure to keep your wallet software up to date and use strong passwords to protect your wallet from hackers. Additionally, be cautious when using smart contracts and only use contracts from trusted sources.
It’s also worth noting that Ethereum is still a relatively new technology, and there may be unknown vulnerabilities that have not yet been discovered. As with any investment, it is important to do your due diligence and understand the risks before investing in Ethereum.