Ethereum White Paper - The Cryptocurrency Review

Ethereum White Paper

Ethereum (ETH): A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform

Authored by: Vitalik Buterin

This document provides a succinct overview of the Ethereum whitepaper, detailing its purpose, core components, and functionalities. Ethereum is designed as a platform for decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts, operating on a blockchain technology that significantly extends the capabilities introduced by Bitcoin.

Core Concepts

  • Smart Contracts: Self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement directly written into lines of code. These are the building blocks for decentralized applications on Ethereum.
  • Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM): The runtime environment for smart contracts in Ethereum. It is sandboxed and completely isolated from the network, filesystem, or other processes of the host computer system.
  • Decentralized Applications (DApps): Applications that run on a P2P network of computers rather than a single computer. Ethereum facilitates their development, offering a censorship-resistant platform.
  • Consensus Mechanism: Ethereum originally employed proof-of-work (PoW) to agree on the state of information recorded on the blockchain, though plans to move to proof-of-stake (PoS) have been in place to reduce energy consumption.
  • Ethereum Blockchain: A public ledger that records all transactions and smart contract executions. It allows for transparent, tamper-proof, and secure data storage without a central authority.


Ethereum’s flexible platform supports a wide range of applications including, but not limited to:

  • Financial tools and currencies
  • Identity and reputation systems
  • Decentralized file storage
  • Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs)
  • Prediction markets


Ethereum’s introduction has opened up new possibilities for the development of applications that operate on a decentralized network. Its core innovation, the Ethereum Virtual Machine, provides a robust platform for the creation and operation of smart contracts and DApps, marking a significant leap forward in blockchain technology.

Download ETH White Paper