What is Ethereum? Smart contracts, ether (ETH), gas fees and other key features explained – YourStory

What is Ethereum? Smart contracts, ether (ETH), gas fees and other key features explained – YourStory

In previous articles, we’ve explained the fundamentals of blockchain, cryptocurrency and Bitcoin in simple terms. These could help you to better understand this explainer piece on Ethereum.

When Bitcoin (BTC) was launched in 2009 by pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto, it became the first cryptocurrency, and one of the earliest use cases of blockchain technology.

As BTC was the first blockchain, it is often seen as the first generation. It employed a fairly rigid system that maximised security of transactions.

The second generation of blockchains, however, are far more flexible and capable of more than just performing financial transactions. 

Ethereum is the earliest and most important of this second generation, and has, so far, remained the most popular one.

Besides performing financial transactions, Ethereum also allows users a greater degree of programmability. It allows developers the ability to experiment with code and build decentralised applications (DApps) on the Ethereum blockchain.

Before explaining how the Ethereum blockchain allows DApps to run on it, let’s first look at how Ethereum came to be.

Origins of Ethereum

In 2013, a young Canadian-Russian programmer named Vitalik Buterin came up with a way to take the Bitcoin idea to the next level and apply blockchain tech to multiple types of applications.

He published a blog post titled ‘Ethereum:
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