Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of fraud or third party interference. Ethereum is powered by Ether, a cryptocurrency whose value is determined by the market. Ethereum can be used to codify, decentralized, secure and trade just about anything: voting, domain names, financial exchanges, crowdfunding, company governance, contracts and agreements of most kind, intellectual property. Ethereum’s smart contracts are based on different computer languages, which developers use to program their own functionalities into the Ethereum blockchain. Ethereum’s programming language is Solidity. Ethereum’s smart contracts are executed by the Ethereum Virtual Machine, run by Ethereum nodes all over the world.
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How to buy Ethereum?
To buy Ethereum, you’ll need a cryptocurrency wallet and some Ether. You can buy Ether on many cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Coinbase and Binance. Once you have Ether, you can store it in your wallet. Ethereum is also available through Ethereum Fog, a decentralized Ethereum network. Ethereum Fog allows you to trade Ethereum without a third party.
How to stake Ethereum
The easiest way to stake Ethereum is to use a custodial staking service. These services hold your ETH for you and perform the staking on your behalf, so you don’t need to run a local node or do anything complex. They will also typically offer other features like reward payouts in different currencies, tell you how much ETH is required for different return levels, etc.
Some popular custodial staking services include StakeEth, SimpleStake, and Trust Wallet.
If you want more control over your staked ETH or want to avoid paying fees to a custodian, you can run your own local Ethereum node and stake directly from your own wallets. This guide from the Ethereum Foundation walks through how to set up a local Ethereum node and stake from your own wallet using the Ethereum 1.0 client, Geth.