In this guide, we explain what is Ethereum and unpack the differences between Ether and Bitcoin.
Beginnings of the Ethereum Universe
Launched on 30th July 2015, Ethereum is a cryptocurrency based on the blockchain.
Founded by Vitalik Buterin and Joseph Lubin, it is sometimes considered a second version of Bitcoin.
Though Bitcoin and Ethereum are both decentralised currencies based blockchain, there are significant differences between the two.
What’s the difference?
A good way to understand the differences between the two is to recognise that each have their own goals and purpose. While Bitcoin was and still intends to be a digital currency based on the blockchain, Ethereum has sought to create an entire network within itself.
In fact, each Ether can be designed to represent a range of different things. It can represent currency, an asset, a digital share or even proof of membership in digital organisations.
According to the website, any user can build
- A tradable token with a fixed supply
- A central bank that can issue money
- A puzzle-based cryptocurrency
Additionally, this currency offers the opportunity to build entire organisations, associations and even countries if an individual desired. Yes, you read correctly. Countries.
The Ethereum Project
From health apps to security software to games, the possibilities are seemingly endless on the Ethereum Project. Click here for a full list of the decentralised apps currently running on the platform.
As you begin to investigate Ethereum, you may come across the term gas. Sometimes referred as GASPRICE, this term represents the value or cost for each step taken within the blockchain. Alongside Ether, gas is used as the reward for miners within the network.
The Child Prodigy
Inventing Ethereum at only 21 years old, Vitalik Buterin has proven to be an incredible mind within the crypto space. At an early age, he was placed a gifted program at school. With a computer scientist as a father and his gift for maths combined, it seemed inevitable from early on that the child genius would do great things.
Ether for good
Vitalik also proves to be an incredible human being, giving back to the world through the wealth he has acquired through cryptocurrency. This includes substantial donations to Give Directly, The Internet Archive and the SENS Research Fund.
Through these efforts and his altruistic mission, Vitalik is truly showing the world how crypto and blockchain technology can be used for good.
Tamara is a marketing and PR professional, enthusiastic about crypto, blockchain and technology in general. She’s the editor at Bitcoin UK.