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About Ethereum

New to Ethereum? You’re in the right place.

Ethereum is the foundation for a new era of the internet:

An internet where money and payments are built in.
An internet where users can own their data, and your apps don’t spy and steal from you.
An internet where everyone has access to an open financial system.
An internet built on neutral, open-access infrastructure, controlled by no company or person.

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No government

Like other blockchains, Ethereum has a native cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH). ETH is digital money. If you’ve heard of Bitcoin, ETH has many of the same features. It is purely digital, and can be sent to anyone anywhere in the world instantly. The supply of ETH isn’t controlled by any government or company - it is decentralized, and it is scarce. People all over the world use ETH to make payments, as a store of value, or as collateral.

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Ethereum Basics

The Ethereum community is the largest and most active blockchain community in the world. It includes core protocol developers, cryptoeconomic researchers, artists, cypherpunks, mining organizations, ETH holders, gamers, app developers, grandmothers, anarchists, fortune 500 companies, and, as of now, you.

More about Ethereum (ETH)

But unlike other blockchains, Ethereum can do much more. Ethereum is programmable, which means that developers can use it to build new kinds of applications.

These decentralized applications (or “dapps”) gain the benefits of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. They are reliable and predictable, meaning that once they are “uploaded” to Ethereum, they will always run as programmed. They can control digital assets in order to create new kinds of financial applications. They can be decentralized, meaning that no single entity or person controls them.

Right now, thousands of developers all over the world are building applications on Ethereum, and inventing new kinds of applications, many of which you can use today:

Cryptocurrency wallets that let you make cheap, instant payments with ETH or other assets

Financial applications that let you borrow, lend, or invest your digital assets

Decentralized markets, that let you trade digital assets, or even trade “predictions” about events in the real world

Games where you own in-game assets, and can even make real money

And much, much more.


How Ethereum works

With ethereum, every time a program is used, a network of thousands of computers processes it.
Contracts written in a smart contract-specific programming languages are compiled into ‘bytecode’, which a feature called the ‘ethereum virtual machine’ (EVM) can read and execute.
All the nodes execute this contract using their EVMs.
For each ethereum application, the network needs to keep track of the ‘state’, or the current information of all of these applications, including each user’s balance, all the smart contract code and where it’s all stored.
Bitcoin uses unspent transaction outputs to track who has how much bitcoin.
While it sounds more complex, the idea is fairly simple. Every time a bitcoin transaction is made, the network ‘breaks’ the total amount as if it was paper money, issuing back bitcoins in a way that makes the data behave similarly to physical coins or change.
To make future transactions, the bitcoin network must add up all your pieces of change, which are classed as either ‘spent’ or ‘unspent’.
Ethereum, on the other hand, uses accounts.
Like bank account funds, ether tokens appear in a wallet, and can be ported (so to speak) to another account. Funds are always somewhere, yet don’t have what you might call a continued relationship.

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Ethereum Transfers

Ethereum is a software system which is part of a decentralised system meaning it is not controlled by any single entity. Ethereum is different to Bitcoin because it expands on its technologies to create a completely new network including an internet browser, coding language and payment system.

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