Explain it Like I’m 5: What is Ethereum?
Please keep in mind this explanation is meant to be an “explain it like I’m 5” type of explanation. If you’re looking to learn more about the Ethereum technology, you can visit this site.
“Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts“. These contracts (or applications) run on the Ethereum blockchain, “an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure”. This Ethereum network is ran by computers all over the world “mining” the blockchain. These “miners” perform computations to process contracts and secure the Ethereum network.
“Ether is the crypto-fuel for the Ethereum network… Ether is the incentive insuring that developers write quality applications… and that the network remains healthy”. Miners are rewarded Ether for the work they do.
Now to put it in simple terms, that will apply to the vast majority of visitors to this site. For your investment purposes, Ether is essentially a “cryptocurrency“, ran on the Ethereum blockchain. The easiest way to get this currency is to buy it, but you can also “mine” to get it.
While technically Ether is the “currency” of the Ethereum network, we’ll use these terms interchangeably throughout this site, as they’re often used this way in the cryptocurrency community. We’ll also refer to it by its trading symbol, ETH.