Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middle man or counterparty risk.
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To get started with Ethereum you first need to download a wallet for your particular device and operating system. An Ethereum wallet stores your private keys and enables you to send and receive ether. Please visit our guide where we explain the best practices you can implement to help keep your holdings secure. You can choose between desktop, mobile, web or hardware wallets designed for a variety of operating systems below:
The easiest way to buy ethereum is through a cryptocurrency exchange. There exist a variety of exchanges where you can trade Ether for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Below you’ll find exchanges currently trading Ethereum:
The Ethereum mining process involves compiling recent transactions into blocks while trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle. The first participant (miner or group of miners) who solves the puzzle gets to place the next block on the blockchain and claim the rewards. The rewards incentivize miners to uphold and secure the Ethereum network. Be sure to read our quick-start guide on some of the intricacies that are involved with mining cryptocurrencies. Below you’ll find Ethereum mining software and hardware you can use to be a successful miner: