Ethereum is a smart contract platform that enables developers to build tokens and decentralized applications (dapps). ETH is the native currency for the Ethereum platform and also works as the transaction fees to miners on the Ethereum network. Ethereum is the pioneer for blockchain based smart contracts. Smart contract is essentially a computer code that runs exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference. It can facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares, or anything of value. When running on the blockchain a smart contract becomes like a self-operating computer program that automatically executes when specific conditions are met. Ethereum allows programmers to run complete-turing smart contracts that is capable of any customizations. Rather than giving a set of limited operations, Ethereum allows developers to have complete control over customization of their smart contract, giving developers the power to build unique and innovative applications. Ethereum being the first blockchain based smart contract platform, they have gained much popularity, resulting in new competitors fighting for market share. The competitors includes: Ethereum Classic which is the oldchain of Ethereum, Qtum, EOS, Neo, Icon, Tron and Cardano. Ethereum wallets are fairly simple to set up with multiple popular choices such as myetherwallet, metamask, and Trezor. Read here for more guide on using ethereum wallet: How to Use an Ethereum Wallet
Populous is a peer-to-peer invoice platform founded in 2017 at a high point in the blockchain and cryptocurrency craze. It makes use of blockchain's distributed ledger technology to provide a global trading platform for invoice financing. According to the Populous website, 'invoice finance is a form of funding that instantly unlocks the cash tied up in outstanding sales invoices. Business owners allow invoice buyers to buy invoices at a discounted rate in order to unlock their cash quicker. Once invoices are paid by the invoice debtor, the invoice buyer receives the amount previously agreed upon.' In order to offer funds to invoice sellers, Populous maintains a Liquidity Pool. This is tied in with the Populous cryptocurrency (PPT). An investor securitizes PPT by making an initial purchase. PPT is then held in escrow as collateral throughout the process. Transactions between invoice buyers and sellers take place with Pokens, exchanged for PPT and used as the currency for buying and selling invoices, either drawing from or contributing to the Liquidity Pool in the process. As a result of this built-in liquidity component, Populous at this point requires no transaction fees. In fact, the only fees levied are those associated with late payments. Populous invoice transactions can cover a huge array of industries, including many which are not typically available to traditional financing companies. The PPT tokens not released during the ICO were retained by the founding and development team. PPT can either be held or used as collateral to invest in Populous invoices. In exchange for collateralizing, you’re given an amount of Pokens based on a percentage of market value. Currently it’s the lesser of 50%, or a 30 day market average. These are automatically used to purchase an invoice. If the invoice is repaid, you receive both your PPT investment and Pokens profit.