Ethereum smart contract use cases – the most plain and simple explanation of ethereum and how smart contract will change the world.
Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality. Ether (ETH or Ξ) is the native cryptocurrency of the platform. Amongst cryptocurrencies, it is second only to Bitcoin in market capitalization.
Ethereum was conceived in 2013 by programmer Vitalik Buterin. In 2014, development work commenced, then crowdfunded, and the network went live on 30 July 2015. The platform allows anyone to deploy permanent and immutable decentralized applications onto it, with which users can interact. Decentralized finance (DeFi) applications provide a broad array of financial services without the need for typical financial intermediaries like brokerages, exchanges, or banks, such as allowing cryptocurrency users to borrow against their holdings or lend them out for interest. Ethereum also allows for the creation and exchange of NFTs, which are non-interchangeable tokens connected to digital works of art or other real-world items and sold as unique digital property. Additionally, many other cryptocurrencies operate as ERC-20 tokens on top of the Ethereum blockchain and have utilized the platform for initial coin offerings.
Ethereum has started implementing a series of upgrades called Ethereum 2.0, which includes a transition to proof of stake and aims to increase transaction throughput using sharding.