|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (November 2015)|
|Original author(s)||Vitalik Buterin, Gavin Wood|
|Developer(s)||Gavin Wood, Jeffrey Wilcke, Vitalik Buterin, et al|
|Operating system||Linux, Windows, OS X, POSIX compliant|
|License||GPL3, MIT, LGPL, et al|
Ethereum was initially described by Vitalik Buterin in late 2013, formally described by Gavin Wood in early 2014 in the so-called "yellow paper" and launched 30 July 2015. It is among a group of "next generation" (or "Bitcoin 2.0") platforms.
The intended purpose of the Ethereum Project is to build and proliferate a decentralised and pseudonymous replacement for the World Wide Web: incentivized static content publication (Swarm), pseudonymous low-level messaging system (Whisper), trustless transactions (Ethereum) and an integrated user-interface (Mist).
Ethereum is an open source project. Development began in December 2013, with the first Go and C++ proof of concept builds (PoC1) being released in early February 2014. Since then, several further PoC builds have been released, culminating with the public launch of the Ethereum blockchain on 30 July 2015.
|Date of introduction||30 July 2015|
The currency unit of Ethereum is the ether, used to pay for computational services on the network.
To finance development, Ethereum distributed the initial allocation of ether via a 42-day public crowdsale, netting 31,591 bitcoins, worth $18,439,086 at that time, in exchange for about 60,102,216 ether.
Smart contracts are programs and protocols to facilitate the automated performance of a contract. Ethereum contracts can be implemented in various languages, compiled into bytecode for the Ethereum Virtual Machine before being deployed to the blockchain.
Every contract is run on every full Ethereum node simultaneously and the result is the consensus of the output. The documentation notes that computation on the EVM is "very expensive" and that "you will not be able to do anything on the EVM that you cannot do on a smartphone from 1999."
The following full-node implementations of Ethereum are available:
- Geth, written in Go
- Parity, written in Rust
- Eth, written in C++
- Ethereum J, written in Java
- pyethapp, written in Python
- ethereumH, written in Haskell
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- Genesis block
- The Issuance Model in Ethereum
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- go-ethereum homepage
- Parity press release
- Ethereum C++ Client GitHub repository
- Ethereum J homepage
- pyethapp GitHub repository
- ethereumjs homepage
- ethereum-client-haskell GitHub repository
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