Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third party interference. Ethereum is a continuation of the original Ethereum blockchain - the first ever truly decentralized platform. Ethereum was crowdfunded during its early development phase and is now being developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit organization.
Ethereum is unique in that it allows for smart contracts to be executed on a distributed network of computers rather than a single computer. This feature allows for greater security and lowers the risk of fraud or hacking. In addition, Ethereum's software allows for the creation of decentralized applications - applications that are not controlled by any one individual or organization but by the collective network of users.
Ethereum has garnered significant attention and support from major players in the technology industry, including Microsoft, IBM, and JPMorgan Chase. These companies see potential in Ethereum's ability to create more secure and efficient systems and have begun to develop applications using the Ethereum platform.