In her 2020 book?The Infinite Machine, Russo said that Buterin looked to science fiction terms for inspiration when he wrote the ethereum white paper in 2013.
Buterin was scrolling through Wikipedia when he came across the word "ether," and remembered this term from a science book he had read as a child.
Ether is the now disproved concept that there's a subtle material that fills space and carries all light waves. In the 19th century, scientists assumed ether was weightless, transparent, frictionless, undetectable chemically or physically, and permeated all matter and space, according to Britannica.
"Vitalik wanted his platform to be the underlying and imperceptible medium for every application, just what medieval scientists thought ether was," Russo said. "Plus, it sounded nice."
He landed on the word "ethereum," to describe the decentralized protocol.
Q: How ethereum got its name
A: Browsing a list of elements from science fiction on Wikipedia
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