Hello, my name is Ali and I will be talking to you about what Ethereum is. Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain technology. This article will be focusing on what Ethereum can do, and will end off with resources should you be interested in learning how to build on it.


So, let’s dive right in!

Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud, or third-party interference. These apps run on a custom-built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This digital infrastructure can be used to codify, decentralize, secure and trade almost anything: from the way we do business, to our voting systems, our music, our news, our healthcare records, and more. Ethereum’s potential uses are vast.

What Ethereum is

Ethereum is an open software platform, based on blockchain technology. It can be seen as the foundation for our future. The platform is fueled by ether, a cryptocurrency. This cryptocurrency is used to generate smart contracts, among other things. Ethereum is a global network that functions without a single point of failure. More here directly from Ethereum.

What is an ERC-20 Token?

A token within Ethereum is stored in a smart contract and can either be a fungible token or a nonfungible one (NFT). ERC stands for “Ethereum Request for Comment” and this is a non-native fungible token, that can be created using the ERC-20 token standard, which is used to show when a token is created in Ethereum or when an Ethereum token is transferred.

There are many ERC-20 tokens that are available that are based on the Ethereum blockchain, as it is designed to be a robust blockchain infrastructure. ERC-20 tokens are one of the most important Ethereum tokens.

ERC-20 tokens are akin to Bitcoin, Cardano, Litecoin, and Algorand in many respects as they are blockchain-based assets that can be sent and received, and holds value. The significant difference is that they don’t run on their blockchain, they use Ethereum as their blockchain infrastructure. Pretty neat, right!?

An example of an ERC-20 token is the Basic Attention Token (BAT), which is rewarded if you have advertisements enabled in the privacy-first Brave Browser. There is a finite amount of them issued, and this is an example of a fungible token.

If you are interested in how to create ERC-20 tokens, explore this technical read.

Who supports the Ethereum ecosystem?

Ethereum was first created by Vitalik Buterin and the Ethereum project is open-source and developed by a worldwide team of many different organizations and people, especially the Ethereum Foundation.

The Ethereum Foundation is a Swiss non-profit organization based in Zug, Switzerland, with the purpose of accelerating the development of the Ethereum project. The Ethereum Foundation contributes to the open-source projects communities.

Who is Vitalik Buterin?

Vitalik Buterin is a Russian-Canadian programmer and writer primarily known as a co-founder of Ethereum and as a co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine. He is said to be holding roughly 10% of the Ethereum coins, which makes him the youngest billionaire in the world. Here’s a screenshot of me and several hundreds of other Kernel Block Fellows on the Zoom with him from today (stay tuned for a follow-up piece on my Kernel learnings for you)!

Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, on the Zoom with Kernel and founder of Huge Thinking, Ali Jaffar
Vitalik Buterin addressing the Kernel Community (with me in the top right of the Zoom!)

How can I build on the Ethereum blockchain and learn more about blockchain?

An important feature of Ethereum is that people can write code that governs how information is stored, accessed, and shared by different parties. You can find a list of helpful courses here on Free Code Camp, and if you are feeling more advanced, check out the Web3.js documentation here, as well as the Kernel.Community.

So, what about nonfungible tokens?

Explore this read on what nonfungible tokens (NFTs) are.