Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain platform that is used to build and deploy decentralized applications (dApps). It was created in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin and has since grown to become one of the largest and most well-known blockchain platforms.

One of the key features of Ethereum is its use of smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. This allows for the automation of complex and time-consuming processes, such as the transfer of funds or the execution of a contract.

Another key feature of Ethereum is its native cryptocurrency, Ether (ETH). Ether is used to pay for transactions on the Ethereum network, such as the execution of smart contracts. It can also be traded on exchanges for other cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies.

Ethereum has a number of potential uses and has attracted a large developer community. It is often used to create decentralized versions of existing services, such as supply chain management, prediction markets, and voting systems. It is also used as a platform for the creation of new, innovative dApps and has been used to launch a number of successful initial coin offerings (ICOs).