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
Qtum is a decentralized and open-source smart contracts platform and value transfer protocol. Qtum uses proof-of-stake consensus, meaning node operators are rewarded for validating transactions. It is a DGP governed blockchain where community participants can vote to change certain network parameters. Qtum is built on a bitcoin core fork, but the foundation has created its own hybrid blockchain with the help of several key tools. The coin uses bitcoin’s chain because of its simple and stable nature, allowing the foundation to build upon it more easily. As the QTUM project is a hybrid of Bitcoin and Ethereum, its team comprises of members from both Bitcoin and Ethereum community. They also have team members who formerly worked with Tencent, Alibaba, Nasdaq etc. Apart from that, they are backed by some notable VCs and prominent people from the Blockchain community such as Patrick Dai (Project Co-Founder), Neil Mahi (Chief Blockchain Architect/Co-Founder) and Jordan Earls (Lead Developer/Co-Founder). Qtum provides a Turing-complete blockchain stack and is able to execute smart contracts and decentralised applications like the Ethereum blockchain. Qtum builds on Bitcoin's UTXO transaction model and uses the Proof-of-Stake algorithm. It is backed by some highly prominent members of the blockchain community such as Anthony Di Iorio, Xu Star, Bo Shen, David Lee, Jehan Chu and Roger Ver. Qtum sold over 10 million dollars’ worth of its tokens after only 90 minutes, eventually raising a total value of $15.7 million before stopping the campaign early after only 5 days. They raised a total amount of 11,156.766 bitcoins (BTC) and 77,081.031 ether (ETH) in exchange for the 51 million Qtum tokens being distributed to the public. In Qtum’s whitepaper, 51% of the coins were distributed to the public via the crowdfunding campaign. Of the remaining 49%, 29% of the coins would be allocated as community incentives, and the remaining 20% would be distributed to the early backers and development team.