Ethereum is undeniably one of the most exciting innovations in this Blockchain space.

People often tend to use the terms Ethereum and Ether interchangeably, however, they are technically different. While Ethereum is the “smart contract network”, Ether is the token (or currency) needed to fuel the network. Different from Bitcoin, where both the network and the currency are called “Bitcoin”.

Created by Vitalik Buterin, as put in his own words a “crypto-economics” enthusiast, Ethereum is a decentralized “world computer”. This “computer doesn’t shut down”. It is designed to eliminate censorship, fraud, third-party involvement in online collaboration. It is used to execute peer-to-peer global transactions.

Simply put, it’s a software platform that uses the blockchain and “Smart contracts” to enable building complex decentralized software applications. Although still in its infancy, the project’s promise is to enable the development of software tools to build solutions that don’t require the traditional “commanding-control” hierarchies. In other words, these are applications that don’t have an all-powerful single owner making and enforcing the rules.

Some of the initial solutions on Ethereum have included an alternate digital currency called Ether, an online identity management system called uPort and an entire suite of banking services developed by consulting firm DeLoitte and the blockchain firm ConsenSys.

Ether can be bought, sold, traded and stored on Ethereum platforms. Please refer to our step-by-step guide to buy Ethereum for more information.

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