Originally conceived by Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum can be characterized as being an open technology platform upon which developers can build and launch decentralized applications (or dapps) using smart contract technology. Ethereum’s native asset is known as Ether, it serves as a fee for computations that are executed on the network. That fee is calculated in gas, but is paid for in Ether. Ether also functions as an incentive mechanism for cryptocurrency miners to secure the network. Underpinning the entire protocol is the Ethereum algorithm for proof of work mining, known as Ethash.