Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality. Ether is the native cryptocurrency of the platform. Among cryptocurrencies, Ether is second only to Bitcoin in market capitalization.
Ethereum was conceived in 2013 by programmer Vitalik Buterin. Additional founders of Ethereum included Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Iorio and Joseph Lubin. In 2014, development work began and was crowdfunded, and the network went live on 30 July 2015.