Many cryptocurrencies aren’t just forms of money. Ethereum, for example, is actually an entire platform! What’s cool about it is it’s a platform that runs smart contracts. What’s a smart contract? Great question! It’s basically a set of code that runs exactly as planned without fear of it getting hacked, censored, or changed. For example, let’s say you did a job for friend, so now they owe you some money. Let’s also say you had a smart contract made that transfers $100 from their account to yours on January 28th, 2018. Uh oh, your friend suddenly decided to skip town and you have no idea where they are!
Good thing you had that smart contract made, because whether or not you’re able to get in touch with them, that transfer is going to happen on January 28th because there’s software that is executing the commands for exactly that on its own.
Ethereum allows you to create and deploy smart contracts, which can be used for MANY different purposes. Ethereum’s native currency is the Ether coin.
As of January 2, 2018, ether is generally considered to be the 2nd most lucrative cryptocurrency, behind only the progenitor of them all–Bitcoin. One ether is currently valued at $833.21 USD.