Chapter 5: Introduction to Ethereum: A Cryptocurrency with a Difference

by Bruno Škvorc

This introduction to Ethereum was originally published at Bruno’s Bitfalls website, and is reproduced here with permission.

Ethereum, launched in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, is a special blockchain with a special token called Ether (the ETH symbol in exchanges).

Ether is used as fuel (literally, gas) to power the Ethereum network and execute smart contracts (see below). Ether is paid to miners (the people running the network) in gas cost to make the features below possible, and thus isn’t a cryptocurrency as much as cryptooil.

Here’s how it’s different from bitcoin, and what makes it stand out in the world of cryptocurrency.

Finality

Bitcoin has a theoretical ...

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