Ethereum is a blockchain technology platform. Although blockchain, It’s not a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin which is a peer to peer electronic cash system.
Ethereum is an open software platform that provides developers with tools to build decentralized applications by putting down the barriers of making a blockchain application which requires complex coding, cryptography and mathematics. Ethereum runs on Ether, which is a crypto token that powers the blockchain network.
A computer code that can facilitate the exchange of money, content property, shares or anything valuable is called a smart contract. A smart contract becomes a self-operating computer program on blockchain that automatically handles the enforcement, the management, performance, and payment as conditions are met without any interference, downtime or censorship. Unlike other blockchain technologies, Ethereum allows developers to create any operation they want without being limited, thus allowing the development of applications we’ve yet to see.
Vitalik Buterin saw that there was an obstacle in the development of blockchain applications as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were developed to only operate as a P2P cryptocurrency and were very limited in what you can do. So he developed the Ethereum Virtual Machine which is a Turing software that enables the running of any program, regardless of what programming language is being used. This in essence simplified the creation of blockchain applications and allows more than thousands to be created all on one platform
The point of a decentralized application is so it can’t be controlled by any individual or central entity, which is why Bitcoin serves a great purpose with its peer-to-peer cryptocurrency system. The uses of Ethereum in providing decentralized services are endless. For example, bank loans, voting and many types of registration and regulatory compliances.
It can also be used for DAO’s which are Decentralized Autonomous Organizations that have no single leader and runs on a collection of smart contracts. To join a DAO you have to purchase tokens which can be given as contributions for voting rights. This ends the need for traditional organizations, takes the control away from a single person and essentially eliminates the need for any human intervention as costs are paid for (tokens).
Ethereum reaps the benefits of blockchain technology which means no corruption, tampering, censorship, or allowing a third to make changes to data. Blockchain also provides a secure network from hacking and fraud and absolutely zero downtime for the application.