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What is ether?

What is Ether? It is the cryptocurrency needed to use the Ethereum platform and its products, as explained below in our What is Ether and how does it work guide.

To find out “What is Ether for beginners?” read on!

So, how does Ether work? In short, developers must pay in ether to build applications and smart contracts on the Ethereum platform (blockchain), and users have to pay in ether to run them.

Fees depends on how much computing power, often called “gas”, an operation requires.

So, to repeat, the primary purpose of ether is for use within the Ethereum network. But it can also be used to buy goods or services if the merchant in question accepts it. Ether history begins along with Ethereum history - see our previous guide for more.

Unlike with bitcoins, there’s no limit on the total number of ether coins that can be issued, there’s only a limit on how many can be mined per year. The two cryptocurrencies have similarities in terms of how they’re mined, stored in wallets, and traded on exchanges.

You’ll find two names for ether: ethereum (ETH) and ethereum classic (ETC).

Both can be used in the same way to create and use applications and smart contracts on the Ethereum platform. And both ETH and ETC can also be used to speculate, seeking to profit from their increase in value on the market. Of the two, ETH is the more popular.

Aside from these basic facts you should know about ether, more detailed information that in this What is Ether guide is available on the official website of the Ethereum Foundation: ethereum.org. Here, you can find out more about getting started with Ether, but as the subject is very broad, even there it would be complicated to find everything you need to know about Ether.

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