What is Ethereum?

ethereum

Hello Reader,

In my previous article we took a look at the different applications of blockchains and delved into the world of smart contracts. In this article we are going to explore a crypto currency built specifically around smart contracts, meet Ethereum.

Ethereum is a decentralised platform designed to run smart contracts originally proposed by Vitalik Buterin. The early development team grew rapidly with initial founders including Mihai Alisie, Anthony Di Iorio, Charles Hoskinson, Amir Chetrit, Dr Gavin Wood, Jeffrey Wilcke and Joseph Lubin.

Let’s take a few steps back to where it all began…

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Applications of blockchains

Blockchain

Hello Reader,

I frequently get asked a specific question from people that are learning about blockchains. Often they are struggling to grasp exactly what they are capable of and why they are thought to be so revolutionary.

In this article, we are going to take a look at a number of examples of how blockchain technology can revolutionise existing industries or even create entirely new ones.

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So how do I actually purchase crypto currency and Bitcoin?

purchase

Hello Reader,

Last time we went through the various ways that you can get hold of some crypto currency and Bitcoin. In this article, I am going to take you through the most common method of getting bitcoins. Purchasing them with fiat currency!

Buying bitcoins can be harder than you might initially expect as the industry is still in it’s fledgling years. However, there are still many different ways, so let’s take a look at each of them in turn.

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How to get crypto currency and Bitcoin

worker bee

Hello Reader,

In the last article we explored the different types of Bitcoin wallet and took a look at some recommendations for each of them. However, having a new fangled digital wallet isn’t all that exciting if you don’t have any bitcoin to store in it!

In this article, we are going to explore the different ways that you can get hold of bitcoin (and by extension, other crypto currencies too).

There are four main ways that you can get hold of crypto currency and bitcoin:

  1. Be given a small amount via a tip or from a faucet
  2. Mine as part of a mining pool
  3. Earn bitcoin as payment for work under taken
  4. Purchase bitcoin directly

Let’s explore each of these in more detail…

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Mining in crypto currency and Bitcoin

Mining

Hello Reader,

We’ve now covered how bitcoin addresses are secured and become acquainted with the blockchain. In this post we are going to learn about the process known as mining which acts to secure the network.

What is bitcoin mining?

Miners are the engine that powers the blockchain. They check transactions are valid and then record them into blocks to be added to the chain.

There are two key questions that mining answers.

Bitcoin uses a peer-to-peer network, with no central authority issuing transactions. As a result, each node is likely to include different transactions in their respective blocks.

(1) How does the network decide which block to add to the chain?

Furthermore, computers are expensive to buy and operate.

(2) Why would anyone spend their resources running a node?

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What is a blockchain?

Hello Reader,

In the last post, we uncovered exactly what a Bitcoin address is and how one can be secured using modern cryptography.

In this post we are going to delve into the database underpinning bitcoin and learn how it is structured. That database is known as a blockchain:

A blockchain is simply a distributed database

For many years, it was thought that fully decentralised digital currencies were impossible. The reason being the problem of double spending. How do you ensure that a digital coin has not been copied electronically and therefore spent repeatedly without the use of a central authority for verification?

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