What is Ethereum (ETH)? A beginner’s guide in 360 words.

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We can thank Ethereum for opening the crypto floodgates and providing the opportunity for tens of thousands of new tokens to be developed.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a blockchain platform that other developers can build on top of. They can use the Ethereum blockchain to run their own applications, and take advantage of its mining popularity to keep their coin’s transactions secure (remember: more miners means greater security).

Why was it created?

Bitcoin isn’t the greatest host to other coins. It’s extremely difficult to build an application that runs on top of the bitcoin blockchain, so pre-Ethereum, most developers would build a separate blockchain for their coins.

Ethereum was built to be the WordPress of blockchains, so developers didn’t have to begin their crypto projects from scratch. They could just build a “smart contract” that would run their program.

What are smart contracts?

A smart contract is a blockchain application that runs exactly as it’s programmed — without any third party interference.

Imagine a farmer that buys drought insurance to protect against dry years. One year, a drought hits, and all the crops are dead — completely unsalvageable. When the farmer files an insurance claim, the insurance company might say “We think this was caused by human error. Sorry, not paying.”

The farmer and insurance company then enter a long legal battle, waste money on lawyers, and in the end, the farmer gets way less than their policy called for.

Had the farmer and insurance company entered a smart contract, the contract would be programmed to watch the rain levels in the farm’s area. If rain levels fell below a certain level within a specified period of time, money would automatically be transferred to the farmer’s account. No lawyers hired, no claims filed, no middlemen.

Crypto ventures can use these smart contracts to create their own coins that operate on an “if this then that” structure.

This shit is magical, I know.

How can you invest in Ethereum?

Ethereum is the blockchain, and its coin is called Ether. Ether is the gas that fuels smart contracts, so as they become more popular, demand for Ether will rise.

You can buy it on Coinbase, here. You will receive $10 of free crypto after your first $100 purchase or sale by using that link.