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
Synthetix is based in Australia, Synthetix launched a seed funding round in September, 2017 to develop the concept of a self-contained stablecoin payment network. They then kicked off their public ICO on February 28, 2018 and by the end of the ICO on March 7, 2018, they had met their goal of $30,000,000 USD. Synthetix was rebranded from Havven on November 30, 2018. Synthetix is led by a multidisciplinary team of 13 individuals. The project was founded by Kain Warwick, who previously co-founded blueshyft, one of the largest digital payment networks in Australia. The CTO is Justin Moses, who also serves as the Director of Engineering at MongoDB. Synthetix aims to address the problem that companies running centralized payment networks such as PayPal, credit card networks, or the SWIFT banking network have “absolute control over the value within the network, so any transaction conducted within them may be blocked or reversed at any time.” According to the Synthetix white paper, “Although this is ostensibly designed to protect users, it introduces systemic risk for all participants. If the network is compromised or its owners cease to behave benevolently, no party can trust that the value in their account is secure or accessible.” This is theorized to work because anyone who holds SNX tokens in escrow will be incentivized by Synthetix rewards derived from network transaction fees that will be distributed “in proportion with how well each issuer maintains the correct Synths supply.” When a Synthetix escrow user puts their SNX in escrow, USD-stabilized Synths will be automatically put up for sale on a decentralized exchange at a price of $1 USD. To release escrowed SNX, the user must buy back the Synths issued (also at a price of $1 USD) at which point the Synths will be burned. The Synthetix system uses an algorithm to adjust network fees, and therefore dividends, to SNX holders to incentivize (or disincentivize) the holding of SNX in escrow smart contracts, and thus, the creation of Synths. The theory is that this will cause users to mint and burn Synths in the appropriate amount based solely on supply and demand.