Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.
These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property.
This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middleman or counterparty risk.
Current Price: $447.47 USD
Market Cap: $44,061,897,510 USD
Circulating Supply: 98,469,822 ETH
Total Supply: N/A
After reading about how a partner in one of the biggest and most prestigious international law firms was busted by an undercover US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agent for trying to garner Bitcoins in a corrupt transaction from a Silicon Valley tech company, it’s likely you won’t feel sad about smart contracts beginning to take over certain functions of lawyers. You might even secretly thank Ethererum’s co-inventor Vitalik Buterin, for it.
Buterin explained, “All transactions under Blockchain come with auditable trails of cryptographic proofs. Rather than simply hoping that the parties we interact with behave honorably, we are building Blockchains that inherently build the properties in the system, in such a way that they will keep functioning with the guarantees that we expect, even if many of the actors involved are corrupt.”