What is Ethereum?

Ethereum logo on a phone screen

Ethereum is a decentralised, global computer that runs on blockchain technology. By decentralised, we mean that this computer is not bound to one place and has no single point of control or person calling the shots. 

Rather, it acts as an open, freely available platform where users (us) can buy, sell or store its cryptocurrency called ‘ether’ and programmers and developers can create and upload smart contracts that serve and carry out a particular purpose. 

A well-known example of smart contracts in action are NFTs or (Non-fungible tokens): a non-replaceable digital asset. These assets are powered by smart contracts which handle the transfer and verification of who owns the asset. 

However, there is no such thing as a free ride. The Ethereum network uses a term called ‘Gas’ to refer to how much ether you’re charged when you are interacting with the network or buying or selling its cryptocurrency. Think of it as an automatic tip that goes toward the effort from Ethereum miners for the energy required to verify your transaction and add it to the blockchain.

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