A developer platform that makes it easy to build decentralized applications. Applications build with Ethereum do not cover all use cases of course, but have specific properties that make them unique.
Ethereum applications always execute the code they say they will – there is no ‘security through obscurity’. I don’t need to ‘trust’ anything or anyone, because I can check the app code myself.
Ethereum applications are always available, and are guaranteed to be available in the future. There is no downtime.
Ethereum applications are resistant to many attacks including denial of service (DDoS), which are rendered moot.
Historically, building decentralized applications required a complex background in cryptography, mathematics, etc. Ethereum simplifies all this by making it accessible to web developers.
There are many use cases of course, but my favourite is that we can now create apps that are accessible to everyone, without restriction, providing services which are currently owned by the Googles and Facebooks of this world. Identity, reputation, payment processing, online communications, etc: all these services can now fall back into the public domain.
Ethereum is a re-application of the techniques of bitcoin but uses short code segments instead of amounts so that someone can transfer code that does something to someone else. Moving the code allows committing to conditional payoffs. I could send you the amount by which the value of those bitcoins dropped since we agreed on a sale. That would hedge your risk of the price dropping. The concept opens up a wide range of risk taking/risk avoidance deals that could be handled electronically. In addition, IBM appears to be working with Ethereum as a means for allowing clients (things actually) on the Internet of Things to place orders for new supplies when they are needed (and pay for them.)
- Download the wallet or get an online wallet
- Using the Wallet Part 2 : Build a Democratic Autonomous Organisation
- Using the Wallet Part 3 : Build your own transparent Central Bank
- Learn Solidity : The main language for smart contracts
- Build apps : Using Meteor and the ethereum tools
- Ethereum Mining : Know about Ether Mining