Ethereum, what’s that?
If you haven’t heard of Ethereum you should certainly check it out. I followed the Bitcoin movement from it’s humbled beginnings, but unfortunately didn’t invest too much into BTC (otherwise I’d be rich.)
Ethereum, powered by the altcoin Ether, is a decentralized platform for the creation of Dapps. It’s like Bitcoin in the way that it is a distributed, encrypted, peer-to-peer system that runs on a block chain.
What are Dapps?
Dapps are essentially a decentralized application – or Contract – that uses peer-to-peer networking and a block chain to stay alive and run, with their output verified by each node. This is great because Dapps can be used as a method for various trust-less systems, such as but certainly not limited to: electronic voting, autonomous democratic socities, or Kickstarter style crowd-funding of projects with no central authority.
Why does this matter?
Huge companies and experts in cryptography are collaborating to build the infrastructure paving the way toward the Internet-of-Things, and Ethereum is a contender for part of the systems involved in its development.
If we’re going to move toward a world where everything is connected, it needs to be a world where everything is connected to each other, and not to a centralized network that routes information to and from each device. Why? Trust. If 26 billion devices are routing communication through a central server, each device, and more importantly, each human must trust that authority with their data, and to relay the correct information.
As we’ve seen countless times over the last decade or so, central authority cannot be blindly trusted. If we as a society, and as a species, are going to move forward; we have to develop a system to remove this trust altogether.
“According to Gartner, Inc. (a technology research and advisory corporation), there will be nearly 26 billion devices on the Internet of Things by 2020.” 
If you’re interesting in learning more about Ethereum, whether it’s investing in Ether or development of Dapps, check out some of the links below:
- Dapps for beginners
- Ether market visualization
- Geth go-etherum repository
- #ethereum on Freenode