Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain platform that was created by a programmer named Vitalik Buterin in 2015. The idea for Ethereum emerged in late 2013 when Buterin, who was already involved in the cryptocurrency world, began to see the limitations of Bitcoin's scripting language and how it limited the types of applications that could be built on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Buterin envisioned a new blockchain platform that would allow developers to build decentralized applications using smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into code. Smart contracts allow developers to build decentralized applications on top of the Ethereum blockchain, including NFTs, ERC-20 tokens, and more.
In January 2014, Buterin published the Ethereum whitepaper outlining his vision for the platform. Over the next year, he and a team of developers worked on building the platform, which included creating a new programming language called Solidity that would allow developers to write smart contracts.
In July 2015, the Ethereum network went live with the release of the first version of the Ethereum software, known as Frontier. Since then, Ethereum has grown to become one of the largest blockchain platforms in the world, with a vibrant ecosystem of developers building decentralized applications and tokens on top of the platform.
Ethereum is currently in the process of upgrading to Ethereum 2.0, which will introduce significant improvements to the platform's scalability, security, and functionality. One of the key features of Ethereum 2.0 is the introduction of Proof of Stake (PoS) consensus, which will replace the current Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism. PoS will allow for faster and more energy-efficient transactions on the network.
In addition, Ethereum 2.0 will introduce shard chains, which will allow the network to process more transactions in parallel. It will also introduce a new virtual machine called eWASM, which will allow for more efficient and flexible smart contracts.