is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality.
Ether (ETH or Ξ) is the native cryptocurrency of the platform.
Among cryptocurrencies, Ether is second only to Bitcoin in market capitalization.
was conceived in 2013 by programmer Vitalik Buterin.
Additional founders of
included Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Iorio and Joseph Lubin.
In 2014, development work began and was crowdfunded, and the network went live on 30 July 2015.
allows anyone to deploy permanent and immutable decentralized applications onto it, with which users can interact.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) applications provide a broad array of financial services without the need for typical financial intermediaries like brokerages, exchanges, or banks, such as allowing cryptocurrency users to borrow against their holdings or lend them out for interest. [+]