When people talk about Ethereum, they’re usually referring to Ether – the digital asset/token/cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain. Unlike with Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ether are used interchangeably. Bitcoin was easy to understand because it was a currency – like the Dollar or Euro. Most people who talk about Bitcoin aren’t necessarily concerned about the underlying technology called Blockchain – even though they might have heard of the concept.
It’s slightly different with Ethereum where both the technology and the cryptocurrency are relevant and have different purposes. Ethereum – the name given to the blockchain platform – is the platform upon which other applications can be built.
If Ethereum was the internet, you could build other products – like email and applications like Facebook on top of it. As one of the Ethereum co-founders put it, “Email is one particular use of the internet… but there are many others”
Ether, is the cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, which means that you can use it to transact with Ethereum applications, in addition to it functioning as a currency like Bitcoin. And similar to what’s happening with Bitcoin, Ethereum (read: Ether) is also being used as an investment option like property or shares.