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What Is Ethereum (ETH)?

Decentralized open-source blockchain platform Ethereum has its own cryptocurrency called Ether. ETH serves as both a platform for the execution of decentralized smart contracts and a host of other cryptocurrencies.

Vitalik Buterin first introduced Ethereum in a 2013 whitepaper. In the summer of 2014, Buterin and his fellow co-founders raised money for the venture through a public online crowd sale. The project team was able to raise $18.3 million in Bitcoin, and during the Initial Coin Offering (ICO), over 60 million Ether were sold at a price of $0.311. Given the current price of Ethereum, the return on investment (ROI) is estimated to be over 270% on an annualized basis, effectively quadrupling your investment every year since the summer of 2014.

On July 30, 2015, the Ethereum Foundation publicly unveiled the "Frontier" blockchain prototype. Numerous network updates have since taken place, including "Constantinople" on February 28, 2019, "Istanbul" on December 8, 2019, "Muir Glacier" on January 2, 2020, "Berlin" on April 14, 2021, and most recently, the "London" hard fork on August 5, 2021.

The stated objective of Ethereum is to establish itself as a global platform for decentralized applications, enabling users from all over the world to create and use censorship-, downtime-, and fraud-resistant software.

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