What is Ethereum (ETH)?

From $7.98USD on the 1st of January 2017 to $465.12USD on the 4th of December, what makes Ethereum (ETH) 🚀+ 5,828%? Some consider it the most successful ICO or Token Offering.

We want to provide a high level, bare bones and at times quite crude overview of what makes Ethereum interesting.

“Ethereum has taken what was a four-function calculator of a programming language in Bitcoin and turned it into a full-fledged computer.” ~ Fred Ehrsam, Co-founder of CoinBase

This post is intended for those new to the cryptocurrency space, and who are looking for a high-level explanation of Ethereum and associated technologies. For readers who are already familiar with the basics and want to know more about Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies, we’d recommend the Ethereum Whitepaper or Blockchain at Berkeley to start.

From Reddit’s “Explain it to me Like I’m Five”(ELI5) thread on Ethereum, thanks to cryptopascal.

A world-wide computer that is formed by lots of computers talking to each other.
(Bonus: just like Bitcoin is a world-wide Excel spreadsheet that is formed by lots of computers talking to each other)
Advantage: no one can turn it off, no one can tamper with it, and it runs exactly as programmed — because no one can, at the same time, break into the houses of all of the thousands of people running the lots of computers talking to each other — and turn those off or change something about the way they run).
(Bonus: unless… you can convince all of the thousands of people running those computers talking to each other… to change exactly the same thing at the same time about how those computers talk to each other. That is called a hard fork, but you have to come up with really good arguments to convince those thousands of people!)
(Bonus: In order to pay them, we have Ether. If you have a lot of Ether, you can do a lot with this world-wide computer. Or you can just keep and sell it to someone who wants to do something with this world-wide computer.)

In my view the best element of ethereum is the decentralised infrastructure and access it provides to app creators to build off it’s network.

If we think about most application ecosystems ie. Facebook, Apple App Store, Android Play ect — Developers and creators are at the mercy of a centralised authority or corporation (Facebook, Apple Google) for access to infrastructure and users.

The authority could wake up one day and revoke rights or make you pay more. This economic structure adds a risk/cost to developers. With the decentralised nature of Ethereum and similar crypto-commodities the creators/developers have more control over the future of their application than they would have had on a centralised platform.

The aforementioned is what excites me most about decentralisation; reducing the economic friction to creating thriving ecosystems, where people build and create new businesses the world has never seen before.

If you’d like to know more about bitcoin, check out; What is bitcoin?

Would you rather do what you do and have someone else invest your spare change in Ethereum?

Bamboo rounds up your spare change from the past month’s purchases and invests it in cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and more. Check out GetBamboo.io.