Ethereum is a decentralised, open-source blockchain featuring smart contract functionality. Ether (ETH) is the native cryptocurrency of the platform. It is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, after Bitcoin. Ethereum is the most actively used blockchain.
Ethereum was proposed in 2013 by programmer Vitalik Buterin. Development was crowdfunded in 2014, and the network went live on 30 July 2015, with 72 million coins premined.
The Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) can execute Turing-complete scripts and run decentralised applications. Ethereum is used for decentralised finance, and has been utilised for many initial coin offerings.