What is Ethereum, Ether (ETH), and how do they work?
Ether is a digital currency, commonly known as a cryptocurrency, which represents the main basis for exchange on the Ethereum network. Ether is abbreviated ETH and quoted much as a standard currency; the Ether to US Dollar exchange rate is quoted as ETHUSD.
The Ethereum network is a decentralized platform which runs smart contracts and allows developers to release applications running on a so-called blockchain. Critically, a blockchain depends on many users to maintain the record of transactions in a decentralized manner. Ether is used as compensation to those who provide computing power on the Ethereum network. In cryptocurrency talk, this process is known as mining.
Ether has quickly rivaled Bitcoin as one of the world's most valuable cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization. This is despite its relatively recent introduction-Ether dates back to July, 2015 versus January, 2009 for Bitcoin.
Ethereum and ICOs
The Ethereum network and Ether itself form a critical part of the broader cryptocurrency market, as Ethereum technology powers for the majority of new 'Initial Coin Offerings' or ICOs. So-called ICOs involve the exchange of a given currency-often Ether itself-to raise capital in the form of a completely new currency. Pricing new cryptocurrencies in terms of Ether effectively ties the money raised by an ICO to the price of Ether at inception. And the need to transact in Ether for such ICO's boosts the demand for ETH itself.
Among other drivers, the demand for ICOs will likely to continue to influence Ether's value moving forward.
How to trade Ethereum
You can track the price of Ether on our currency chart, and read all the latest news and analysis to support your cryptocurrency day trading.