The Ethereum (ETH) price is currently $316.843 in USD, with a circulating supply of 101.39M ETH. Its market capitalization (market cap) is $32.13B. $2.01B worth of ETH has been traded in the last 24 hours, with its price changing by +9.34% over this period.
Ethereum (ETH) is the world’s first blockchain platform with functionality to support smart contracts and decentralized applications (dapps).
Whereas Bitcoin’s blockchain serves a singular purpose of securing financial transactions in a decentralized way, Ethereum’s blockchain can execute code across its distributed network using the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). This makes it possible to do virtually anything on the Ethereum blockchain.
A smart contract is simply a computer program that self-executes once certain conditions are met.
Let’s say Bob and Alice want to bet 10 ETH on the outcome of the Super Bowl at even odds. Both parties could send their ETH to a smart contract that checks the score from an agreed upon third-party source, and then sends the combined 20 ETH to the winner. This is an example of a relatively simple smart contract.
Smart contracts can also be used for more complex projects, including dapps. Some existing dapps include decentralized exchanges like IDEX, games like CryptoKitties, and casinos like EtherRoll. These are just a few of the earliest examples, but there are thousands of dapps being built on Ethereum.
The currency of the Ethereum network is technically called Ether, though the two terms are often used interchangeably. Users of the network who want to execute smart contracts or send transactions on the network must pay a fee in Ether. For dapps, this means regularly paying small fees to the network.
Ethereum currently uses Proof of Work (PoW) mining, like Bitcoin, to secure its network and validate transactions. However, ETH’s miners are also responsible for executing the code in smart contracts.
The miner who successfully generates a block is rewarded 3 ETH plus all user fees for that block.
Learn more in our guides: