What is Ethereum

Ethereum is an open-source, public blockchain-based distributed platform. It provides a decentralized Turing-complete virtual machine, The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), to execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. It provides a cryptocurrency toke "ether", that can be transferred between users. Ether is a necessary element for operating the distributed application platform Ethereum. It is a form of payment made by the clients. Ether ensure that developers write quality application and keep the network healthy.
At its simplest, Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain technology that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications.

History of Ethereum

Ethereum was described on a paper by a programmer, Mr. Vitalik Buterin In 2013 and proposed the development of Ethereum in a scripting language and published white paper. In January 2014, the Etherum cryptocurrency was announced by Vitalik Buterin at North American Bitcoin Conference, held in Miami, USA. Formal development of the Ethereum software project began in early 2014 through a Swiss company, Ethereum Switzerland GmbH (EthSuisse). The Development was funded by an online public crowdsale during July–August 2014. While there was early praise for the technical innovations of Ethereum, questions were also raised about its security and scalability.

What can Ethereum be used for?

Ethereum enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications. A decentralized application or Dapp serve some particular purpose to its users. Bitcoin, for example, is a Dapp that provides its users with a peer to peer electronic cash system that enables online Bitcoin payments. Because decentralized applications are made up of code that runs on a blockchain network, they are not controlled by any individual or central entity.
Any services that are centralized can be decentralized using Ethereum. Think about all the intermediary services that exist across hundreds of different industries. From obvious services like loans provided by banks to intermediary services rarely thought about by most people like title registries, voting systems, regulatory compliance and much more.

Features of Ethereum

Ethereum is not just a digital currency. It is a blockchain-based platform with many features like the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and its currency is ether for peer-to-peer contracts.
Ethereum’s blockchain stores applications negotiation and facilitation. It provides a decentralized way to verify and enforce the details. The decentralized makes it difficult to fraud. Ethereum aims to provide greater security and bring down the associated costs.
It provides user authentication, via seamless integration of cryptographic signatures
It provides fully customizable payment logic; easily create your own payment system without any reliance on third parties.
Ethereum Provides you as much storage as you want
Everything in the Ethereum ecosystem can trivially interact with everything else.
The whole application can be deployed on the blockchain so there is no need for setting up or maintaining servers.

Future of Ethereum

Because of Technology Development the world is becoming more digital, so the craze of making payments in digital is increasing Because of the characteristics like effective and secure transaction, Lower cost, Decentralized system. Ethereum is new player in Cryptocurrency market as its value is increasing so its become second valuable cryptocurrency.
Because decentralized applications run on the blockchain, they benefit from all of its properties.
Immutability – A third party cannot make any changes to data.
Corruption & tamper proof – Apps are based on a network formed around the principle of consensus, making censorship impossible.
Secure – With no central point of failure and secured using cryptography, applications are well protected against hacking attacks and fraudulent activities.
Zero downtime – Apps never go down and can never be switched off.

Smart Contracts

Ethereum's smart contracts are based on different computer language, which developers use to program their own functionalities. Smart contracts are high-level programming abstractions that are compiled down to EVM bytecode and deployed to the Ethereum blockchain for execution. They can be written in Solidity (a language library with similarities to C and JavaScript), Serpent (similar to Python, but deprecated), LLL (a low-level Lisp-like language), and Mutan (Go-based, but deprecated). There is also a research-oriented language under development called Viper (a strongly-typed Python-derived decidable language). Smart contracts can be public, which opens up the possibility to prove functionality, e.g. self-contained provably fair casinos. One issue related to using smart contracts on a public blockchain is that bugs, including security holes, are visible to all but cannot be fixed quickly.[71] One example of this is the 17 June 2016 attack on The DAO, which could not be quickly stopped or reversed. There is ongoing research on how to use formal verification to express and prove non-trivial properties. A Microsoft Research report noted that writing solid smart contracts can be extremely difficult in practice, using The DAO hack to illustrate this problem. The report discussed tools that Microsoft had developed for verifying contracts, and noted that a large-scale analysis of published contracts is likely to uncover widespread vulnerabilities. The report also stated that it is possible to verify the equivalence of a Solidity program and the EVM code.

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