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At a recent conference held by the New York Times, attendees were surprised to hear Google CEO Sundar Pichai talk about his son’s recent online activity. Apparently, the 11-year-old has been using his family’s computer to mine ether – a cryptocurrency.

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Pichai went on to talk about a recent conversation where he had been using the term ‘bitcoin’. And his son had to correct him and clarify that what he was referring to was actually Ethereum. We don’t blame Pichai for being confused.

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What is Ethereum?

In the existing internet landscape, most information is stored on cloud and servers owned by companies like Facebook and Google. This centralizes the collection of data and increases the threat of data being stolen by third parties or hackers.

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One effort to decentralize data storage and collection is Ethereum. Ethereum replaces servers with nodes run on volunteer servers all over the world. In theory, this platform would provide all the services of various apps while allowing the users to remain in control of their data.

What is Ether?

Ether relates to the cost of obtaining services on Ethereum. Ether is a piece of code that serves as payment or provides the necessary leverage for the program to run. While ether is used as a form of online payment it is not the same as bitcoin.

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Ether and Bitcoin

Bitcoin has an upper limit of 21 million bitcoins under which the economic system functions. However, ether does not have an upper limit. This allows ether to be mined. That mined ether can be used as fuel to get services on Ethereum.

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Buying and selling bitcoin

Many people have gotten rich off of bitcoin. For example, Yifu Guo who made $5 million in 2012 by forming and selling his bitcoin mining company. And Jered Kenna made $30 million from investing in bitcoin over several years.

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