The blockchain idea has turned out to be a platform that a huge range of applications can be built on top of. It’s still a new and rapidly developing technology, but many experts have described blockchain’s potential to change the way we live and work as being similar to the potential public internet protocols like HTML had in the early days of the World Wide Web.
The Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin blockchains work in a very similar way to the original Bitcoin blockchain. The Ethereum blockchain is a further evolution of the distributed ledger idea, because unlike the Bitcoin blockchain it’s not solely designed to manage a digital money. (That said Ethereum is a cryptocurrency and certainly can be used to send value to another person). Think of the Ethereum blockchain more like a powerful and highly flexible computing platform that allows coders to easily build all kinds of applications leveraging the blockchain.
For example, imagine a charity that wants to send money to a thousand people every day for a year. With Ethereum, that would only take a few lines of code. Or maybe you’re a video game developer that wants to create items like swords and armor that can be traded outside of the game itself? Ethereum is designed to do that, too.