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 middleman or counterparty risk.
The project was bootstrapped via an ether presale in August 2014 by fans all around the world. It is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit, with contributions from great minds across the globe.
Ethereum is often called the cryptocurrency of the second generation due to its abovementioned capabilities to include smart contracts and create decentralized applications.
The Ethereum blockchain and smart contracts form a shared global supercomputer that can move/send value across the world, represent ownership & transmit tokenized assets and digitize many more complex financial applications. This allows to bypass an intermediary and Ethereum has the power to open up the financial system to the world and build a safer more accessible and fair economy for everyone to participate in.
Official Website: https://www.ethereum.org/
Block Explorer: https://etherscan.io/