A name that most often comes up in discussions regarding the digital currency space is Ethereum, and this is with good reason. Put simply, Ethereum is a technology that leverages the blockchain development that has undergirded a majority of the cryptocurrencies in the past years. In today’s modern technology-driven era, we store all kinds of information such as passwords, financial data, personal information, etc. on servers and clouds that are owned by major providers such as Facebook and Google. We do this because it eliminates the hassle of hosting and uptime and helps store and retrieve data for minimal costs. Imagine a scenario where this data is stored on someone else’s computer. This makes the data vulnerable to hacking. This is the very basis of the centralized internet.
But in recent years, technologies such as blockchain have brought about the decentralized internet movement. Ethereum is one such notable result of the movement towards decentralization. Along with Ethereum comes the term ‘Ether.’ Though Ether and Ethereum are often used in the same context, they are completely different from each other. Let us understand Ethereum and Ether in detail in this article.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a decentralized global platform, and the value of Ethereum lies in the fact that it enables one to write codes to control money and build applications that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Ethereum is an open software platform that is based on the principles of blockchain technology. The main advantage of Ethereum is that it allows developers to build and deploy decentralized applications. Ethereum helps developers create operations based on their needs, and this means that developers can build thousands of different applications.
Using Ethereum, developers can program their smart contracts. Smart contracts are self-executing contracts where terms of the agreement between the buyer and seller are directly written into lines of code. Another advantage of Ethereum is the smart contract system it offers that has certain significant technological implications. The code that is written on an Ethereum blockchain cannot be hacked, tampered, or altered. This feature ensured by cryptography is an interesting application of blockchain technology.
Ethereum makes use of nodes to replace individual cloud systems and servers owned by major internet providers. These nodes are run by volunteers. The idea is for these nodes to connect to become a “world computer.” This would help provide infrastructure to people across the globe. An idealized Ethereum model is one that would be less vulnerable to hacks and shutdowns, as no entity will have control over your personal data. The current value of Ethereum in the cryptocurrency trading market is $ 176.92.
What is Ether?
If Ethereum is a decentralized app and internet system, what is Ether? Though Ethereum is not owned by anyone, the programs and services linked with the network need computing power, and this power is not free. This is where Ether comes in. Ether is a digital asset bearer similar to a security or bond and is the solution to the issue of payment. Ether functions like cash in the sense that it does not require a third party for approving or processing the transactions. But Ether is not exactly a digital currency. It can be considered as a fuel for the apps on the decentralized Ethereum network. Let us consider a concrete example to help get a better idea. Let us assume that there is an app on the Ethereum network that allows you to modify, create, and delete simple notes. To complete any task, the app needs processing power through the network. For covering the cost of this power, you will be required to pay a marginal fee if you want to make changes to your existing notes at any time. Ether is the token you will use to make this payment. Ether can be considered as a ‘digital oil’ because it allows the network to process the changes that you have made. The Ether transaction fees in an Etherum network will depend on the amount of computing power it needs for the service.
So, having learned what Ether and Ethereum are, let us now analyze the question, ‘Is Ether the same as Ethereum?’ Precisely, Ether is not the same as Ethereum. Let us understand the differences in detail to get a clear view.
How Ether Differs From Ethereum?
Just like an airplane that needs fuel, Ethereum does too. Ether can be regarded as the fuel of Ethereum. Similar to regular oil, Ether can also be bought and sold. The value of Ether also fluctuates based on the law of offer and demand. In a technical sense, Ether is the incentive provided to developers and miners to keep the Ethereum network efficient and safe. Ether is not infinite. Though it is a computer program, it cannot be replicated infinitely. So, if someone tells you that they have invested in Ethereum, it implies that they have purchased Ether.
The main difference between Ether and Ethereum is that Ether is the fuel used to power the network, whereas Ethereum refers to the network. Though Ether is not exactly fuel, that is its exact purpose for the Ethereum network.
- Ethereum is not bought and sold, whereas Ether is bought and sold.
- Ethereum is a programmable blockchain-based software platform. Ether is the cryptocurrency asset that runs the Ethereum network.
- Ethereum has various applications, whereas Ether only has one application, that is, to enable operations on the blockchain.