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Updated Mar 16, 2018 at 10:05PM EDT by 13acab12.

Added Jun 14, 2017 at 04:24PM EDT by Don.

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Ethereum is an open-source blockchain platform which uses distributed computing and allows users to execute scripts executed on the Ethereum Virtual Machine and create smart contracts. Additionally, Ethereum provides the ether cryptocurrency token, which bears many similarities to bitcoin.


In 2013, programmer Vitalik Buterin described Ethereum's architecture in a white paper titled "A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform."[6] The Ethereum project was subsequently launched by Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di lorio and Charles Hoskinson as a Bitcoin alternative with its own scripting language. On December 14th, 2013, the /r/ethereum[1] subreddit was launched for discussions about the blockchain platform. On June 4th, 2014, the Ethereum YouTube channel uploaded a video explaining Ethereum (shown below). On July 30th, 2015, Ethereum was initially released.

DAO Hard Fork

In April 2016, the digital decentralized autonomous organization DAO launched, which used the Ethereum blockchain. On May 27th, The New York Times[3] reported about DAO security vulnerabilities discovered by a group of computer scientists, who claimed hackers could steal tokens collected by the DAO and recommended investors in the project hold off until the flaws were fixed. On June 9th, Blockchain Foundation founder Peter Vessenes published a blog post[4] about a "recursive calls" vulnerability allowing Ethereum smart contracts to be emptied. On June 17th, the DAO was confronted with several cyberattacks, including the recursive calls, leading one hacker to steal 3.6 million ether tokens valued at approximately $50 million USD. After the hack was publicized, the value of ether dropped from $21.50 to $8. On July 20th, Ethereum performed "hard fork" to reappropriate the stolen tokens, which led to a split in the network between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic, though the latter is not supported by the Ethereum Foundation.

The Flippening

On June 12th, 2017, Ethereum peaked at $420 that morning, leading many to speculate that ether could overtake bitcoin in total market value in an event referred to as a "flippening". On June 13th, Motherboard[2] published an article titled "Bitcoiners Are Freaking Out Over 'The Flippening'," which reported that Ethereum had over five times as many nodes in their network and a larger number of transactions per day as Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Coindesk[5] published an article titled "The #Flippening: Will Ether 'Pass' Bitcoin And What Would It Mean?"

Online Presence

On July 30th, 2015, the Ethereum YouTube channel uploaded a video titled "Ethereum: The World Computer," which speculated that the entire internet will "use Ethereum" in the future (shown below, left). On May 9th, 2016, the Genesis Mining YouTube channel uploaded a video showing the largest Ethereum mining facility, which gained over 1.1 million views within 13 months (shown below, right).

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