Ethereum

public blockchain platform with programmable transaction functionality

Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency platform by market capitalization, behind Bitcoin. It is a decentralized open source blockchain featuring smart contract functionality. Ether (ETH) is the cryptocurrency generated by Ethereum miners as a reward for computations performed to secure and add blocks to the blockchain. Ethereum serves as the platform for over 1,900 different cryptocurrencies and tokens, including 47 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.Ethereum provides a decentralized replicated virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. The virtual machine's instruction set, in contrast to others like Bitcoin Script, is Turing-complete. "Gas", payable in ETH, is the internal transaction pricing mechanism, and is used to mitigate transaction spam and allocate resources on the network.Ethereum was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. Development was funded by an online crowdsale that took place between July and August 2014. The system then went live on 30 July 2015, with 72 million coins minted. This accounts for about 65 percent of the total circulating supply in April 2020.In 2016, as a result of an exploitation of a flaw in The DAO project's smart contract software, and subsequent theft of $50 million worth of ether, Ethereum was split into two separate blockchains. The new separate version became Ethereum (ETH) with the theft reversed, and the original chain continued as Ethereum Classic (ETC).Ethereum is currently developing and planning to implement a series of upgrades called Ethereum 2.0. Current specifications for Ethereum 2.0 include a transition to proof of stake and an increase in transaction throughput using sharding technology.
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