Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source, programmable blockchain launched in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, Joseph Lubin, Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, and Anthony Di Iorio. The leading blockchain platform allows users to perform a host of activities, including transacting using its native token, Ether (ETH), running decentralized apps (dApps), minting and trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more.
The best way to understand Ethereum's blockchain is to view it as a computer. Instead of running on one device, Ethereum operates as a decentralized blockchain platform. It runs on several devices or nodes worldwide simultaneously and allows anyone to write programs and run them on the computer.
Ethereum currently uses the energy-intensive Proof-of-work (PoW) mining algorithm to validate transactions on its network. However, it is currently transitioning to the more efficient Proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm, which is projected to radically decrease the network’s energy consumption and make it more scalable.
The native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain is Ether (ETH). Ether is created when transactions are verified and added to the blockchain in a computationally-intensive process known as mining. ETH is used to carry out transactions and pay for services on the Ethereum blockchain.