Ethereum: New kid on the block
Ethereum has been positioned as “Blockchain 2.0.” Recognizing the power of building more complex applications atop Bitcoin and wanting to take advantage of new research in the space, Ethereum was introduced by Vitalik Buterin in 2013.
One of the main features that sets it apart from other blockchains is the built-in smart contract system, enabling a wide variety of applications to run on a decentralized network. As compared with Bitcoin, which has an intentionally limited scripting language, Ethereum boasts the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) which allows for nearly-arbitrary computations.
Ether as a token in the platform
Ether, sometimes referred to as Ethereum, is the cryptocurrency used within the Ethereum network. To use the network and run the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), you need Ether. Ether is not so much an investment in a currency, but a tool used to allow the system to work. You can think of Ether as a form of ‘gas’ that makes the EVM run. Ether is used to pay for mining costs and transaction fees; it ensures that transactions are verified and posted in a block on the chain. To read more about Ether’s purpose within the Ethereum ecosystem, you can see this page from Ethereum.org’s website.
The official Ethereum website containing download links to the Mist graphical Dapp Browser. In addition, several tutorials for writing Smart Contract in Solidity programming language is available. The Ethereum Foundation can be an interesting thing to check out too!
Ethercasts Dapp List
Dapp List by Ethercasts is a comprehensive decentralized application status board for a variety of projects built on the Ethereum blockchain.
Join the Welcome chatroom on Gitter to chat in real-time with other Ethereum users! There are a variety of rooms centered around clients and technical topics in development/research.
Going further: ERC20 tokens & projects implementing them
Now that you know about Ethereum, check out some of the amazing projects begin built on blockchain. Our ERC20 page has more specific projects (like Augur or Gnosis prediction markets) that are being built upon Ethereum’s platform.
This page also explains what ERC20 is, and how tokens comply with it. It also have resources for each project so you can dive deeper into them if you want!