### What Ethereum is open access to digital money and data-friendly services for everyone – no matter your background or location. It's a community-built technology behind the cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and thousands of applications and smart contracts (computer programs living on Ethereum) you can use today. The Ethereum network is a network of computers all over the world that follow a set of rules called the Ethereum protocol, and it acts as the foundation for communities, applications, organizations and digital assets that anyone can build and use. Ethereum allows you to coordinate, make agreements or transfer digital assets directly with other people. You don't need to rely on intermediaries. And because no government or company has control over Ethereum it is impossible for anyone to stop you from receiving payments or using services on Ethereum. As mentioned before, Ethereum is not controlled by any particular entity and it exists whenever there are connected computers running software following the Ethereum protocol and adding to the Ethereum blockchain. Each of these computers is known as a node. Nodes can be run by anyone, although to participate in securing the network you have to stake ETH (Ethereum’s native token). Anyone with 32 ETH can do this without needing permission. ### Why Ethereum helps people and communities to coordinate in a resilient, open and trustworthy way on the internet. It also gives people the tools to have self sovereignty over their digital assets, and is particualrly important for people who have had to handle uncertainty around the security or soundness or mobility of their assets due to external forces outside of their control. The core value of Ethereum is that you can interact with the internet without trusting a central authority that could change the rules or restrict your access. The internet was meant to be a free and open space for everyone, and Ethereum builds on this premise, allowing you to control your own assets and identity, instead of them being controlled by a few mega-corporations.