Ethereum (ETH) the 'World Computer' with Turing Complete Smart Contracts. The platform that created the ICO & DAPPs.
The go-to blockchain for fundraising via smart contract tandards such as ERC20 (ICO) and the new ERC721 proposal for non-fungible assets (Land, equity, cryptokitties etc.)
The ETHEREUM network runs on a blockchain secured by miners executing a Proof of Work consensus algorithm, with plans to move to a Proof of Stake consensus algorithm.
ETHER is a cryptocurrency whose blockchain is generated by the Ethereum platform. Ether can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant mining nodes for computations performed.
"GAS", is an internal transaction pricing mechanism (i.e. Fees), which is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.
Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contract functionality - a world computer running on 15,290 (and counting) computer nodes distributed worldwide. Small programs called smart contracts are run in exactly the same way on each of these nodes.
In a more practical sense, Ethereum is an internet service platform for guaranteed computation. More than that, as a platform, it provides a set of integral features which are very useful to the developer:
- user authentication, via seamless integration of cryptographic signatures
- fully customizable payment logic; easily create your own payment system without any reliance on third parties
- 100% ddos resistant up-time, guaranteed by being a fully decentralized blockchain- based platform
- no-fuss storage: forget about having to set up secure databases; Ethereum gives you as much storage as you want
- ultimate interoperability: everything in the Ethereum ecosystem can trivially interact with everything else, from reputation to custom currencies
- server free zone: your whole application can be deployed on the blockchain meaning no need for setting up or maintaining servers; let your users pay for the cost of their using your service.
Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer.
Development was funded by an online crowdsale (the first ICO) that took place between July and August 2014. The system went live on 30 July 2015, with 11.9 million coins "premined" for the crowdsale.
This accounts for about 13% of the total circulating supply.
Coinsupply: While there has been some speculation this year, Ethereum currently does not have a hard supply cap, but its developers can change this at any time. When Ethereum's supply reaches the point where it becomes economically unviable to profitably mine, plans are in place to switch its consensus protocol from POW to Proof of Stake.
When/if this happens, introducing a hard cap becomes impossible, and instead, supply will increase consistently, at a steady rate in perpetuity.
In 2016, as a result of the collapse of The DAO project, Ethereum was split into two separate blockchains – the new separate version became Ethereum (ETH), and the original continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC).
While Ethereum POW algorithm has been ASIC miner averse, the recent introduction of ASIC miners, will raise questions of its decentralization, and may affect it's plans to move to POS.