Ether is a cryptocurrency whose blockchain is generated by the ETHEREUM platform. It’s is a decentralized platform that runs contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.
Ethereum was initially described in a white paper by Vitalik Buterin, a programmer involved with Bitcoin Magazine, in late 2013 with a goal of building decentralized applications. Buterin had argued that Bitcoin needed a scripting language for application development. Failing to gain agreement, he proposed development of a new platform with a more general scripting language. At the time of public announcement in January 2014, the core Ethereum team was Vitalik Buterin, Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, and Charles Hoskinson. Formal development of the Ethereum software project began in early 2014 through a Swiss company, Ethereum Switzerland GmbH (EthSuisse). Subsequently, a Swiss non-profit foundation, the Ethereum Foundation (Stiftung Ethereum), was created as well. Development was funded by an online public crowdsale during July–August 2014, with the participants buying the Ethereum value token (ether) with another digital currency, bitcoin. While there was early praise for the technical innovations of Ethereum, questions were also raised about its security and scalability. These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property. This enables developers to create markets, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middleman or counterparty risk. Ether can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant mining nodes for computations performed.
In 2016, as a result of the exploitation of a flaw in The DAO project’s smart contract software, and subsequent theft of $50 million worth of Ether, ETHEREUM was split into two separate blockchains – the new separate version became ETHEREUM (ETH) with the theft reversed, and the original continued as ETHEREUM Classic (ETC). The value of the ETHEREUM currency grew over 13,000 percent in 2017, to over $1400. By September 2018, it had fallen back to about 1,858 percent I.e. $200.
With the way the stock is plummeting, I would advice a quick ‘Sell’ as the currency is heading towards a total shutdown