Smart contracts are one of the many possibilities offered by the Ethereum Blockchain. Through this, the need for third parties such as notaries, banks and a government disappears. A smart contract is programmed on the blockchain and can start recording things like property titles, for example. Since the blockchain cannot be manipulated, this is a safe option to get rid of too much bureaucracy and paperwork.
An initial coin offering is like an IPO (initial public offering) in the stock world. In 2017, this phenomenon was hugely popular. Companies could create a token on the Ethereum blockchain that then served to raise initial capital. Many great projects participated in this, but unfortunately there were also many scams present. So it was and still is important to pay attention when investing in ICOs.
A Dapp is software that runs on a decentralized network. The possibilities of such software are endless, and in the future we will see many well-known software such as social media, make the transition to a decentralized system. One advantage for users is that you no longer have to hand over your data, and therefore remain in charge of your content.
DEFI stands for decentralized finance, and is the hype of the moment. All functions that a bank has, are thereby translated into the Blockchain. There are some nice projects here, but also a lot of shitcoins. In a way it reminds a bit of the ICOs in 2017. So be very careful about what you invest in.
Ethereum is wildly popular, and will remain so for some time to come. However, as with all things investing, it is important to remain vigilant at all times. For example, can Ethereum handle all the traffic on their blockchain? It is possible that Ethereum will become a victim of its own success. The high fees on the network give a lot away. There is also a competitor lurking: Charles Hoskinson - who also worked on Ethereum - brought his own coin Cardano on the market, a kind of next level Ethereum. He works with a blockchain 3.0 platform that can handle a lot. He also used the same programming language used by the Etherium network (Solidity). Tokens from Ethereum can therefore be copied and run on Cardano. Will there be a big migration of coins? Will Cardano overtake Ethereum in this way? Will Etherium be able to handle its traffic if the popularity of the network continues to rise? We can't guess the answers to these questions at this point, only time will tell.