Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency platform by market capitalization, behind Bitcoin.[1][2] It is a decentralized open sourceblockchain featuring smart contract functionality. Ether is the cryptocurrency generated by Ethereum miners as a reward for computations performed to secure the blockchain.[3] Ethereum serves as the platform for over 260,000 different cryptocurrencies, including 47 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.[4][5]

Ethereum provides a decentralized virtual machine, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), which can execute scripts using an international network of public nodes.[6] The virtual machine’s instruction set, in contrast to others like Bitcoin Script, is Turing-complete. “Gas”, an internal transaction pricing mechanism, is used to mitigate spam and allocate resources on the network.[6]