Ethereum is an open-source, blockchain-based, decentralized software platform used for its native cryptocurrency, ether (ETH). Created by Vitalk Buterin in 2013, Ethereum is known as the “world's programmable blockchain” secured by thousands of independent computers (also known as nodes).
Ethereum has a virtual machine, called the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) that enables code, also known as smart contracts, to be verified and deterministically executed by nodes on the blockchain. The EVM can also run Decentralized Applications (DApps) on the platform.
Ether (ETH), also commonly referred to as Ethereum, powers many of the transactions on the Ethereum network. ETH underpins the Ethereum financial ecosystem. Similar to Bitcoin (BTC), ETH can be sent peer-to-peer without any third-party service like a bank and is not controlled by a central authority. When you send ETH or use an Ethereum application, you'll pay a small fee in ETH to use the Ethereum network. This fee is an incentive for a miner to process and verify the transactions made on the network.