Ethereum is a decentralized open source blockchain system that has its own cryptocurrency, Ether. ETH acts as a platform for several other cryptocurrencies as well as for executing decentralized contracts.
Ethereum was first described in a “whitepaper” in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin. Buterin, together with the other co-founders, secured all funding for the project in a public “crowd sale” online. This happened in the summer of 2014 and officially launched blockchain on July 30, 2015.
Ethereum’s goal is said to be to become a global platform for decentralized applications, enabling users worldwide to develop and execute software that is resistant to censorship, downtime, and fraud.