How is Ethereum Turing Complete?
Bitcoin was the first blockchain and still exists in its purest form. The creator (s) aimed to make the network a transactional layer where people could send funds from address A to B without intermediaries.
People wanted more. And Ethereum came along, marketing itself as 'Turing complete,' a distinguishing feature from Bitcoin and other blockchains.
What exactly did Vitalik Buterin mean?
A Turing complete blockchain, in layman terms, allows coders to use its programming language so that they can write and deploy contracts. These contracts can solve reasonable computational problems.
Ethereum's Virtual Machine (VM) is Turing complete, and the Ethereum blockchain is essentially a distributed Turing complete machine. Therefore, programmers can perform looping and branching statements while also using local storage to build logic that can be converted to Solidity and executed in the EVM. With these features, Ethereum can be used to execute even the most trivial of computer programs.
Notably, it is different from Bitcoin, which uses a scripting language and has no virtual machine to execute sophisticated smart contract logic.