What Is Ethereum and how does it work?

Ethereum is the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and was the first to introduce smart contract functionality to the industry.

Ethereum is a blockchain-based software platform that is primarily used to support the world’s second-largest crypto project by market capitalization after Bitcoin (BTC). Like other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum can be used for sending and receiving value globally and without a third party stepping or watching in unexpectedly. Value exchange is the main use case of the Ethereum(ETH) blockchain today, often via the blockchain’s native token, Ethereum. But many of the developers are operating on the cryptocurrency because of its long-term potential and the progressive vision of its developers to use Ethereum(ETH) to give users more control of their finances and online data. The ambitious idea – which sometimes leads to Ethereum being guided to as “world computer” – has been met with its share of critics who say it assumably won’t work. But if this evaluation rolls out as planned, it would spawn apps very different from Google and Facebook, which users knowingly or unknowingly trust with their data.

With the help of blockchain, Ethereum fans aim to give control back to users, it is a technology that decentralizes data so that thousands of people across the world are handed a copy. Developers can use Ethereum to create leaderless applications, it basically means that a user’s data cannot be tampered with by the service’s creators. Ethereum was first presented in 2013 by developer Vitalik Buterin, who was 19 at the time and was one of the pioneers of the idea of expanding the technology behind Blockchain.

Ethereum and a decentralized internet

This system can be problematic, according to decentralization advocates. It means direct less control for users, and it also opens up to chances for censorship, where the intermediary can step in and stop a user from any action, whether buy a certain stock or message a certain post on social media or block them altogether.

The idea of Ethereum(ETH) is to transform how apps on the internetwork today, awarding users more control by replacing intermediaries with smart contracts that execute rules automatically.

How is Ethereum different from Bitcoin?

Ethereum draws inspiration from Bitcoin. They are both cryptocurrencies. Ethereum(ETH) uses the same technology behind Bitcoin(BTC), a  Blockchain, which uses a shared, decentralized public ledger to decentralize the network so it’s not under the control of just one commodity.

But while Bitcoin(BTC) is used primarily as a store of value, the idea behind Ethereum (ETH)is to decentralize other kinds of applications and services, from social media networks to more complicated financial agreements.

How does an Ethereum app work?

Scrolling through a typical app store you’ll see a combination of colorful squares representing everything from fitness to banking to messaging apps. The long-term idea of the Ethereum community is to make apps that look just like these, but that work differently under the hood.

In short, the goal is for Ethereum apps to return managing of the data in these types of services to its owner.

The apps built on Ethereum that propose this functionality are known as decentralized apps. 

What are the next steps for Ethereum?

It’s worth noting that Ethereum has been met with beneficial skepticism. For one, Ethereum(ETH) is far from scalable, meaning it can’t help many users right now, throwing a wrench in the view of a “world computer” that disrupts Facebook, Google, and other centralized platforms.