Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency platform by market capitalization, behind Bitcoin. It is a decentralized open source blockchain featuring smart contract functionality. Ether is the cryptocurrency generated by Ethereum miners as a reward for computations performed to secure the blockchain. Ethereum serves as the platform for over 260,000 different cryptocurrencies, including 47 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
Ethereum provides a decentralized virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes. The virtual machine’s instruction set, in contrast to others like Bitcoin Script, is Turing-complete. “Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.