Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain with smart contract functionality. Ether (ETH or Ξ) is the native cryptocurrency of the platform; among cryptocurrencies, it is second only to Bitcoin in market capitalization.
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Ethereum, like Bitcoin, is an open source project that is not owned or operated by a single individual. Anyone with an internet connection can run an Ethereum node or interact with the network. Popular Ethereum-based innovations include stablecoins (which are pegged to the dollar by smart contract), decentralized finance apps (collectively known as DeFi), and other decentralized apps (or dapps).