Ethereum is a decentralized software platform or technology that made a first appearance in Vitalik Buterin’s white paper in 2013. It has a native cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH) and is the second most popular coin after Bitcoin. It builds on its predecessor, Bitcoin’s, idea of decentralization; however, it is written in a different coding language that allows it to be a foundation for applications and systems.

Ethereum’s success stems from its versatility as a blockchain and network. Its cryptography allows developers to build on the blockchain, thus utilizing it for new software, games, tokens, not to mention the ability to scale the blockchain. This versatility allows it to capitalize on the idea of decentralization; developers can retain Ethereum’s qualities and improve on them using smart contracts to create decentralized applications (dApps). The blockchain's uses include a range of sectors such as gaming, trading, health, and banking.

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