Ethereum is an open source platform, decentralized unlike other blockchains, Ethereum can do much more. It is programmable, which means that developers can use it to create new types of applications.
These decentralized applications (or "dapps") get the benefits of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. They are reliable and predictable, which means that once they are "loaded" onto Ethereum, they will always run as scheduled. They can control digital assets to create new types of financial applications. They can be decentralized, which means that no entity or person controls them.
Right now, thousands of developers around the world are building Ethereum applications and inventing new types of applications, many of which they can use today:
Cryptocurrency wallets that allow cheap and instant payments with ETH or other assets
Financial applications that allow you to borrow, loan or invest your digital assets
Decentralized markets, which allow you to trade digital assets, or even exchange "predictions" about events in the real world.
Games where you have assets in the game and you can even win real money.
The software developer Vitalik Buterin, proposed to integrate a complete Turing language in the Bitcoin scripting system as an improvement of the protocol, although the concept is an original idea by Sergio Demian Lerner that he develops in his thesis. Its development was achieved thanks to a collective financing platform, from July to August 2014. The system finally came out on July 30, 2015.
The initial purpose of the Ethereum project is to decentralize the web by introducing four components as part of its Web 3.0 roadmap: static content publishing, dynamic messages, reliable transactions, and an integrated and functional user interface. These components are designed to replace some aspects of the experience. Web that we take for granted today, but doing it in a completely decentralized and anonymous way.