Bitcoin is finally inspiring some competition, the first of which goes by the name Ethereum. Created by Bitcoin enthusiasts, Ethereum elaborates on the groundwork that Bitcoin set down. Ethereum does so by introducing "a full-fledged programming language that makes it possible to encode binding agreements embedded in the same transaction record that tracks the flow of Ether," as reported on Fast Co. Labs.
Ethereum is essentially a next generation cryptocurrency that will allow users to experiment with contracts to ensure that their accounts are on the up and up. Of course the Ethereum framework also addresses possible use by criminal organizations. By adopting a Bitcoin-style shared transaction record, anonymous contracts are pretty much limited, thus the appeal is not there.