Ethereum is a decentralized, open-source blockchain platform that enables the creation and execution of smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). It was proposed by Vitalik Buterin in late 2013 and launched in 2015.
At its core, Ethereum provides a blockchain infrastructure with its native cryptocurrency called Ether (ETH). However, Ethereum goes beyond simply being a digital currency like Bitcoin. It is designed as a programmable platform that allows developers to build and deploy applications on top of its blockchain.