Academy > Intro to Crypto

Intro to Ethereum

Ethereum created the world of DeFi.

Founded in 2015, Ethereum is the name of both a major blockchain network and its native asset, ether ($ETH).

Many popular crypto applications, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) protocols, and tokens are built on Ethereum, making it a powerhouse of innovative blockchain technology. 

Executing all of the activity that takes place on the Ethereum blockchain requires a massive, decentralized computer to process transactions and record them on a ledger. This engine is called Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). As the network continues to grow, EVM can be scaled and upgraded in several ways to keep up with demand. 

Much like Bitcoin, Ethereum is programmable money; smart contracts (i.e. reusable snippets of code) on ETH allow for known actions to be executed automatically when certain conditions are met. 

Right now, Ethereum uses proof-of-work mining. A move into proof-of-stake is on the roadmap. As it expands PoS, the network will have sharding, more sidechains, and more layer 2 chains built on top of EVM. These will help ease Ethereum’s current “bottle-neck” issue where it has difficulty keeping up with demand and the speed at which transactions should be processed during times of high traffic. This demand that Ethereum is currently experiencing is telling of the future promise of blockchain innovation.

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