Ethereum [English]

InterPARES Definition

No definition in earlier IP projects. ITrust definition not yet developed.

Other Definitions

  • BlockchainHub Glossary (†807 s.v. "Ethereum"): Ethereum is a virtual machine running atop a decentralized blockchain mining so called Ethers, allowing a wide range of smart contracts. The Ethereum Project, based in Switzerland, raised millions in seed money by pre-mining and selling ethers to supporters & investors. As opposed to bitcoin, its scripting language is Turing-complete and full-featured, expanding the kinds of smart contracts that it can support. The Ethereum project wants to “decentralize the web” by introducing four components as part of its roadmap: static content publication, dynamic messages, trustless transactions and an integrated user-interface.
  • Scaling Bitcoin [2017] (†845 s.v. "Ethereum"): 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.
  • Wood 2014 (†803 p.2): Ethereum, taken as a whole, can be viewed as a transaction-based state machine: we begin with a genesis state and incrementally execute transactions to morph it into some final state. It is this fi nal state which we accept as the canonical "version" of the world of Ethereum.
  • Wood 2014 (†803 p.1): Ethereum is a project which attempts to build the generalised technology; technology on which all transaction-based state machine concepts may be built. Moreover it aims to provide to the end-developer a tightly integrated end-to-end system for building software on a hitherto unexplored compute paradigm in the mainstream: a trustful object messaging compute framework.


  • ASTRI 2016 (†806 p.35): Ethereum, launched in July 2015, is an unpermissioned DLT platform for decentralised applications. Like other unpermissioned blockchain platforms, the Ethereum blockchain is maintained by all connected nodes in the public network. Transaction verification and block creation is performed by validating nodes, also known as miners. Newly created blocks are then propagated to the network. · Ethereum serves as a flexible platform for anyone wishing to program blockchain applications on the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).8 EVM can be thought of as a decentralised machine containinga number of different objects known as “accounts”, which are capable of executing code. There are two types of accounts: Externally Owned Accounts (EOAs) and Contract Accounts. EOAs are accessed externally with private key verification, and Contract Accounts are governed by their internal codes. Smart contracts are computer codes added to transactions by users and sent to the ledger for deployment. Smart contract execution may be triggered by additional user-sent transactions. Sending a transaction to the account in EVM requires a small fee payment known as “gas”. The fee is a reward to the miners to compensate them for their costs in hardware and electricity in performing transaction validation and block creation. · The reward is paid in the Ethereum native cryptocurrency, ‘Ether’. It can be traded or used as a medium of payment on cryptocurrency exchanges, such as the Coinbase wallet system. Ether has been developed as a vehicle to facilitate the operation of peer-to-peer smart contracts. (†2058)
  • Buterin [2017] (†818 ): What Ethereum intends to provide is a blockchain with a built-in fully fledged Turing-complete programming language that can be used to create "contracts" that can be used to encode arbitrary state transition functions, allowing users to create any of the systems described above, as well as many others that we have not yet imagined, simply by writing up the logic in a few lines of code. (†2111)
  • Pangburn 2015 (†826 para.3): Bitcoin’s blockchain model has been proposed as the backbone for a wide range of applications, from asset trading to real estate transactions, from escrow services to even a “national income distribution” system. What Ethereum proposes, in effect, is a global computer that could not only handle those transactions but also eventually emulate many of the functions of companies like Uber, Airbnb, Dropbox, Amazon, and Kickstarter—but without the “inefficient” bureaucracies and the other intermediaries who take a slice of the pie. That is to say, companies that, once started, can run themselves. (†2160)