Ethereum is a decentralized publishing platform featuring stateful user-created digital contracts and a Turing-complete contract programming language. Ethereum uses its underlying network unit, ether, as payment to execute Ethereum contracts as a workaround to the Halting Problem. In this respect, Ethereum is unlike most cryptocurrencies, as it is not solely a network for transacting monetary value, rather, it is a network for powering Ethereum-based contracts. These open-ended contracts can be used to securely execute a wide variety of services including: voting systems, domain name registries, financial exchanges, crowdfunding platforms, company governance, self-enforcing contracts and agreements, intellectual property, smart property, and distributed autonomous organizations. The currency was initially described by Vitalik Buterin, winner of the and others in late 2013 and early 2014, and will be released in late winter 2014/2015. It is among a group of "next generation" platforms.

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