Ethereum - Definition from the Hotspot Shield Encyclopedia

Ethereum is a blockchain based computing platform that can be used to create smart contracts.

The platform was created in 2014, and used crowdsourcing for its initial funding. The project was originally created by a Swiss firm and there were early concerns about its security and potential for future scalability. The Ethereum Blockchain uses the Ether unit of currency which is traded on exchanges like other cryptocurrencies. It is also used to pay for any services used on the Ethereum network. Ethereum is used in many applications including decentralized investment funding like The DAO, prediction markets like Augur, in energy markets, and for releasing digital contracts for music. As Ethereum is still in the early days of implementation, it is not yet widely accepted and used.