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* All information is without guarantee of correctness and completeness.

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is a blockchain network that has its own cryptocurrency known as Ether. Ether can be used to make purchases, complete transactions, and use the network. It is also held by people as a speculative investment. Created in 2015, Ether is the second largest and most popular cryptocurrency after Bitcoin.

Like Bitcoin, the network is completely decentralized and does not have a single governing authority. There are no middle men in operation when you send Ether to someone else. Ethereum can also be used to run programs using computers connected to the network. These are known as decentralized applications (DApps).

About Ethereum
Ethereum functionality

Ether as an investment

Ether is popularly used as an investment and is tradable through a number of exchanges, or through direct trades with buyers and sellers. Its price changes depending on the state of the crypto market, and with new updates and changes to the Ethereum network. It's the most traded cryptocurrency after Bitcoin, and has the second largest market cap. During the 2017 cryptocurrency bull run, it traded at a high of around €750 dollars per coin at the end of the year. This was up from its January 2017 price of roughly €7.

Ethereum Market Cap

Ether as a utility token

Ether is also used to pay for transactions and applications that run on the network. Ether derives its value not just from speculation like Bitcoin, but also from the utility it has in using Ethereum. Having to pay a small fee stops spam attacks occurring on the network. Ether is also regularly used to buy and purchase other coins created on the Ethereum network.

Ethereum history
Ethereum Market Cap

Accessing your Ether funds

To manage your Ether, a crypto wallet is needed to be able to store, send, or receive Ether funds. Most digital wallets available online support multiple cryptocurrencies, so you likely won't need a seperate one to store your Ether. Your wallet will be made up of two parts: a public key and a private key. Your public key works as an address to send Ether to, and your private key acts like a password to gain access to your account.

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