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Ethereum is the community-run technology powering the cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and thousands of decentralized applications. Ethereum was conceived by Vitalik Buterin in 2013 with a mainnet launch on 30 July 2015. Other named founders included are Gavin Wood, Charles Hoskinson, Anthony Di Iorio and Joseph Lubin. 
Ethereum was the first blockchain to support smart contracts, since then many new blockchains have been created (sometimes referred to as alt-L1s) with the same purpose.