Ethereum is an open-source blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system most famously known for its smart contract functionality — which allows for the digital facilitation, verification, and enforcement of a contract without the need for a trusted third party or intermediary. Ethereum is also widely known as the backbone for a large percentage of altcoin tokens, many of which are built using the platform’s ERC-20 technical standard. Because of this — and because the majority of initial coin offerings accepted ether (ETH) as the means of investment — Ethereum has been called ‘an ICO factory’ by those critical of the cryptocurrency platform’s long-term value.
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