What Eth is

Ethereum is a blockchain that utilizes Proof of stake (PoS) algorithms to validate transactions. Created in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum was made out of a need for decentralization. Buterin had found himself feeling disgusted by the evils of centralized entities, and wanted to create something after connecting to the idea of Bitcoin. Many refer to the cryptocurrency as Ethereum, yet the proper name is ‘Ether’ as the network is named Ethereum and Ether powers the network. Ethereum can be viewed as a decentralized network of computers that run the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) - the engine behind the whole Ethereum network. While Bitcoin is seen as a digital store of value similar to gold, Ether is a token that provides utility to users. To approve transactions and interact with the Ethereum network, users must spend Ether to pay for fees, which keep the machine churning. There are a variety of actions users can take on the network, thanks to smart contracts - blockchain programs that perform a series of actions. As the cryptocurrency ecosystem has grown, so has the number of users. Ethereum processes over a million transactions a day - the most of any blockchain. Due to the increasing number of users, alternative Layer 1 blockchains have popped up, hoping to capture Ethereum’s vast market share. As the competition has heated up, Ethereum developers have been working on a solution known as Ethereum 2.0. This series of changes seeks to “fix” the high fees and free up space for more transactions to go through, therefore resulting in a positive experience for users. Ethereum aims to be the money of the internet, providing a decentralized solution for a world overrun with centralization and toxic monetary policy.

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