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ETH is short for Ethereum.
Ethereum is an open-source blockchain platform featuring smart contract. It is regarded as "blockchain version 2.0", applying blockchain technology ——"Ethereum", which is different from what Bitcoin has adopted, and developers have to pay ETH to support the operation of its application.
Ethereum and Smart Contracts
The Ethereum project was created to integrate and enhance the concepts of scripts, altcoin, and on-chain meta-protocol, allowing developers to create applications of blockchain technology that are arbitrary, consensus-based, extensible, standardized, feature-complete, easy-to-develop, and synergistic. By building the ultimate abstract foundation layer——blockchain with built-in Turing complete programming language, Ethereum enables anyone to create contracts and decentralized applications where people can set up rules freely defined at their will for ownership, transaction modes and state transition function. In short, Ethereum provides infrastructure for applications of blockchain technology.
Smart contracts can be compared to encrypted boxes that contain value and can be opened only if certain conditions are met which can be made on the Ethereum platform. Smart contracts are far stronger than that of Bitcoin scripts can provide because the former are empowered by Turing completeness, value-awareness, blockchain-awareness, and multi-mode.
Ethereum Account and Ether
In the Ethereum system, the state is made up of objects called “accounts” (each account has a 20-digit address) and transactions between the two accounts involving transferring value and information. An Ethereum account contains four parts:
The nonce, a counter used to make sure each transaction can only be processed once.
The account’s current ether balance.
The account’s contract code, if there is any.
The account’s storage (empty by default).
Ether is the main internal encrypted fuel of Ethereum, used to pay transaction fees. Generally speaking, Ethereum has two types of accounts: externally owned accounts (controlled by private keys) and contract accounts (controlled by contract codes). There is no code for externally owned accounts, and people can send messages from an external owned account by creating and signing a transaction. Every time the contract account receives a message, its code inside will be activated, allowing it to read and write to internal storage, and send other messages or create contracts.
Official website: https://www.ethereum.org/