The creation of BitCoin in 2008 has led to the rise of over 700 blockchain-based digital currencies. Many of these blockchains aim not only to serve as a form of currency but also allow users to store some other type of specialized information in the blockchain (which really serves as a decentralized ledger). For example, NameCoin attempts to provide a decentralized ledger of DNS names, which users can trade using "NameCoins." Many call these "specialized" blockchains "application coins" since each attempts to provide some unique, specific functionality to the end user. Ethereum aim's at becoming the 8th layer in the OSI Networking stack, residing above the "application"-layer, serving as a decentralized consensus platform that any application can use to build secure decentralized consensus into their application without the hassle of having to bootstrap their own blockchain into existence.
StockChain is an ERC-20 token that resides on-top of the Ethereum blockchain, which allows users to use the Ethereum blockchain as a decentralized stock-ledger. Not only does this remove the barriers to entry to high-frequency traders aiming to remove the advantage of large players with the lowest latency times to the NYSE, since anyone can have near-0 ms latency times by simply running an Ethereum node on their local network. StockChain also allows for divisibility of stocks to the 10^(-8)th place, peer-to-peer international stock exchange, and paves the way for a more globalized economy.