Ethereum is an open source platform to build and distribute next generation, decentralized applications. The company is based in Zug/Baar, Switzerland.
The whole purpose of Ethereum, according to CCO Stephan Tual, is to make the Internet entirely decentralized, cutting out middlemen and enabling users to interact directly with other systems and interfaces in a peer-to-peer fashion.
„We would build a decentralized Internet network where all of us would access documents and content without going through a server,“ Tual told Vice. „It means that you will need zero infrastructure to develop and distribute applications.“
Because Ethereum is powered by blockchain technology, its network is distributed on hundreds of thousands of computers around the globe, making the system fairly hard, if not impossible, for any authority to shut down.
„It’d be certainly possible to build something like Wikileaks on Ethereum. And if somebody wanted to take it down it wouldn’t be able to shut the server, because there’s no server,“ Tual said. „The only thing they could do is chase every single user. Or shut down the Internet—that would work.“
Described as a planetary-scaled computer, Ethereum hosts any type of applications on its very own blockchain. Developers can build literally anything on Ethereum as its blockchain can power not just programmable money but also financial derivatives, voting systems, identity registries, reputation systems, decentralized storage, decentralized autonomous operations and more.
At the heart of this open source platform, there is ether, a cryptocurrency mined by the Ethereum software. Unlike bitcoin, which is limited to 21 million units, 15 million ethers will be produce each year on their blockchain. Developers will need ethers to run software on the Ethereum network.
18 Mio Funding in Bitcoins
Last year, the Ethereum project raised 30,000 bitcoins, worth more than US$18 million at the time, after two month of crowdfunding. So far, the Ethereum project is the third most well-funded crowdfunding projects.
Ethereum is one of the many promising Bitcoin 2.0 startups that are building alternative versions of the Bitcoin network for other, non-currency applications.
Namecoin, a cryptocurrency based on the code of Bitcoin, offers the ability to store data within the blockchain. Onename, on the other hand, seeks to disrupt the current online authentication process by giving everyone a blockchain ID to login around the web. Also OpenTradeDocs based in Singapore is using the blockchain technology to check document statuses and enabling better fraud prevention.
Vitalik Buterin (called the 21y Bitcoin wunderkind) will speak on the first Crypto and Blockchain Conference in Zurich.
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