Ethereum's popularity has skyrocketed since it hit the market in mid 2015 because of its revolutionary Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The EVM is the first decentralized blockchain-based virtual network, which is fueled by virtual tokens called Ether and is capable of hosting an entire universe of Ether-fueled applications that run on the cryptographically-secure, decentralized, and tamper-proof network.
The most infamous experiment on the Ethereum network, The DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), was a pioneering effort to create an algorithm-driven open-source venture capital fund where every investor had a voice in determining potential projects. The experiment ended abruptly after a hacker managed to steal a third of the company's assets by exploiting vulnerabilities in the DAO governance code.
Despite it's catastrophic collapse, The DAO represents the first iteration towards a future where autonomous organizations redistribute power away from powerful entrenched financial institutions into the hands of individuals. Indeed, Ethereum is helping pave the way toward a braver, freer new world.
The Ethereum Swagnet is not a real Ethereum. It's a Swagnet!