Ether refers to the native cryptocurrency used for digital transactions (especially gas fees) on the Ethereum network, and it is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin – the native currency for digital transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain network.
The Ethereum blockchain was developed to facilitate digital transactions amongst many other capabilities that Satoshi Nakamoto – Bitcoin’s founder – did not envision.
Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, looked to improve on the shortcomings of the Bitcoin blockchain regarding transactions and explore other uses of blockchain technology. As such, the Ethereum blockchain is home to a majority of the decentralized applications (dApps) developed today alongside its smart contract functionality introduced with the ERC-20 protocol.
Is Ether the same as Ethereum?
Although Ether and Ethereum are intertwined, they are ultimately not the same thing.
To keep it simple, Ether runs on Ethereum as a virtual currency. Ethereum, on the other hand, is the blockchain in itself that stores and validates digital transactions within the Ethereum ecosystem. Ether is used as payment (known as gas fees) for dApps running on the Ethereum platform. and the fees may vary depending on the amount of computational power dedicated to the application.
Since the creation of Ethereum in 2013, blockchain development and adoption in many other industries besides finance have been explored. Thanks to the smart contract feature, which allows the creation of tokens on the platform.