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The Ethereum is a virtual platform that adopts the decentralized exchange protocol established by bitcoin, while expanding its use to several other applications. Not to be confused with the ether, the cryptocurrency at the base of the network, which is often called the Ethereum.
The Ethereum platform was launched in 2015 by programmer Vitalik Buterin, from Toronto. Its purpose is to host a cryptocurrency, but also and especially collaborative and decentralized applications. Ether (ETH) is a cryptocurrency that can be used as a means of payment on this platform. Like bitcoin, ether exists as part of a stand-alone peer-to-peer financial system without any state supervision or intervention. And like bitcoin, the ether has seen its value soar very quickly.
In January 2016, the ether was quoted at about $ 1. By September 2017, his course had reached $ 290. Its value remains volatile, however, with many intraday variations. So, among the hundreds of crypto-currencies available, ether is one of the few with a strong market capitalization, along with its two big rivals, Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash.
The Ethereum blockchain is very similar to that of bitcoin, but it is programmed in a language that allows developers to write software with which blockchain transactions can manage and automate specific results. These software are called smart contracts.
If a traditional contract describes the terms of a relationship, a smart contract ensures that these terms are respected by entering it in lines of code deployed in the blockchain. The software automatically executes the agreement as soon as the predefined conditions are met, eliminating the wait and costs involved in manually executing a transaction.
For example, an Ethereum user can create a smart contract to send a certain amount of ether to a friend on a certain date. They deploy this code in the blockchain and, as soon as the contract is filled, that is to say at the set date, the ethers are automatically sent to the other party.