Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring smart contract functionality. It is not owned or operated by a single individual, which means anyone, anywhere can download the software and begin interacting with the network. It is much more than just a simple cryptocurrency.
With Ethereum, every time a program is used, a network of thousands of computers processes it. Ethereum allows those interacting with the Ethereum Network to make and operate ‘Smart Contracts’ without having to trust each other or use a middleman. At its simplest, Ethereum enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications.
The virtual currency unit that allows this system to work is called Ether. People interact with the Ethereum network by using Ether to pay the network to execute smart contracts.
The original Ethereum development team consisted of Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, and Charles Hoskinson in 2014.