It helps to first understand what the internet is before we try to understand ethereum.

Today, in digital clouds and databases owned by tech companies like Amazon, Facebook or Google, our personal data, credentials and most of our financial information are all essentially stored on computers of other people. Even this article you’re reading right now is stored on a company-controlled database that charges if it is requested to retain this information.

Most of these companies deploy expert teams to assist store and safeguard this data and remove hosting and uptime costs, hence it this setup is pretty convenient for both -the users and the service provider!

But there’s also a vulnerability which comes with this convenience. As we have discovered, without your knowledge, a hacker or government can obtain unwanted access to your data by manipulating or disrupting a third-party system, which means they can steal, leak or alter important information, your important information.

The founder of the Apache Web Server, Brian Behlendorf, went so far as to mark this hierarchical model as the Internet’s “original sin.” Some others like Behlendorf argue that the Internet was always anticipated to be decentralized. Well, the use of new tools, including blockchain technology, has created a splintered movement to help achieve this goal.

And the newest technology member to join this trend is the Ethereum.

Although bitcoin is aiming to disrupt giants like PayPal and massive industries like online banking, ethereum, on the other hand, is aiming to replace internet third parties with a blockchain — those who store your data, move mortgages and monitor complex financial instruments.

See Also: Blockchain use cases.

Etherium as World Computer

In short, ethereum is planning to establish itself as a ‘World Computer’ that would decentralize–and some would beg to differ, democratize–the existing client-server model.

For ethereum, thousands of so-called “nodes” run by volunteers from all over the globe (forming a “world computer”) which eventually replaces a number of servers and clouds.

The big idea is that ethereum will facilitate people anywhere in the world to have the same capabilities, allowing them to compete in offering services on top of this network.

For example, you’ll see a range of colorful squares when scrolling through a typical app store representing everything from banking to fitness to messaging apps. Such apps depend on the business (or another third-party service) to store your credit card information, purchase history, and other personal information–somewhere, usually in third-party-controlled databases.

The apps we use, they are also governed by third parties, such as Apple and Google are regulating and curating (or, in some cases, censoring) the different applications you can access.

Take an online file system such as Evernote or Google Docs as an example.

Ethereum would return the authority of the data in these sorts of services to its owner and its author’s creative rights if everything goes according to plan.

The idea is that no entity will have control over your notes anymore and that no one will be able to suddenly ban the app itself, taking all your notebooks offline temporarily. Only the client, not any other person, may make changes.

By principle, it blends people’s control of their past information with the easy-to-access information we’re used to in the digital age. Each and every time you end up saving edits, add or delete notes, a modification is made by every node on the network as well. 

The idea was met with skepticism, and it’s worth noting. Even though all the apps appear to be possible, it is ambiguous which blockchain apps will actually be useful, secure, or scalable, and whether they will ever be as convenient to use as the apps we are using today.