While Bitcoin (BTC) is the first blockchain network, the technology has evolved far past a simple financial transaction. When Vitalik Buterin and his colleagues proposed Ethereum (ETH) in 2013, they set their sights on something much broader — a decentralized way of life.
Buterin envisioned a blockchain-based internet, one where users had control instead of corporations. To do so, Ethereum would power what are essentially automated if-then statements called smart contracts. These contracts are immutable, as rules and limitations were baked into their code. This means any party can transact without an intermediary, removing the need for centralized platforms.
Interestingly, 2014 saw the release of a report defining the DApp, named “The General Theory of Decentralized Applications, Dapps.” It was written by various authors with experience in the space such as David Johnston and Shawn Wilkinson.