Hello and welcome, dear cryptonians, to the page that will address one of the legendary concepts in the blockchain world – Ethereum (ETH), the second best after Bitcoin. Or is it?
What is Ethereum? A cryptocurrency? A blockchain? A platform for dApps or just a project of one introverted boy who had always been good at maths?
You must have heard something about cryptocurrencies. If not, that’s OK. Based on the fact that we used the plural form, there are plenty of them 🙂
Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Tether (USDT), Ripple (XRP) and Ethereum (ETH) are included in the world’s top 10 cryptocurrencies list.
Wait a minute, what is the difference between cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies?
The long explanation would take hours of philosophical disputes with multinational experts, bankers and stock traders, but we’ll keep it short.
Cryptocurrency is a money app on blockchain. That simple. Just like podcasts are an app on your iPhone.
Yet, with crypto, the underlying technology is not the hardware and software in the shape of your telephone, but a very cool database called blockchain.
A Russian originated boy Vitalik Buterin created Ethereum when he was 17. After his father — a scientist, too — had introduced him to the concept of Bitcoin.
Ethereum hosts multiple “apps” we call dApps, and it hosts its own crypto many people simply call Ether.
Ethereum is Vitalik
Vitalik was born in a small Russian town of Kolomna in the most difficult times for the country.
Facing the economical and political crisis of the 90s where some people had nothing to eat, his parents immigrated to Canada in search for a better life.
And when the gifted boy found himself in the right environment, his talent for math and programming started to flourish.
While in grade three of elementary school in Canada, they placed Vitya (or Vitalik) into a class for gifted children.
The Abelard School, a private high school in Toronto, he was attending for four years, turned out to bring a lot of joy to Vitalik.
He mentioned that these were the most interesting and productive years of his life, and he developed dedication and focus on intellectual inquiry right there.
Ethereum is a blockchain
Vitalik learnt about Bitcoin (BTC) from his father scientist when he was 17.
A year later he created the whitepaper on Etherum, an open-source, public, blockchain-based platform and operating system featuring smart contract functionality.
But this all probably sounds very confusing, doesn’t it?
What Vitalik has done, he has developed the platform for multiple apps (dApps) to function in the ultimately new environment – with their own money and without centralized authorities such as banks, governments, googles, or facebooks involved.
Ethereum is a crypto
Gigabytes of information on Ether circulate in the Internet on a daily basis, either it has to do with the volatility in crypto markets or gas rates… wait, wait, volatility is understandable… kinda… but what is gas?
Let’s take it one step a time.
We have already mentioned that Ether (ETH) is a crypto you can pay with to your colleagues, partners or people on the other side of the world.
Yes, due to the nature of blockchain, it is easy to transfer Ether from San Fransisco to Tokyo without any authorisation on your bank’s side.
But what is gas and why do people bring this concept up so often while talking about Ether?
Gas is the transaction fee that you pay to compensate for the energy that the network has spent to execute the operation.
Basically, miners — or people who spend their computational power to make the network run — can refuse to process transaction with less than a certain gas price.
So, consider it the tax for decentralization 🙂
Tokens built on Ethereum are ERC20 tokens
Ethereum was the first blockchain out there that made the concept of a token popular. Brought about by the digital economy, token is an item of currency other than coins and paper money.
Tokens, in particular, ERC20 tokens, are a key component for the Etherum ecosystem in a way that all of them are built on the same foundation.
Let’s put it this way.
Ethereum is a huge ecosystem populated with multiple dApps. It requires a common list of rules for developers to accurately predict interaction between users.
That’s why the common standard for the token in an ecosystem is always a good practice.
ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comment, and 20 is the number that was assigned to this request.
The clear majority of tokens issued on the Ethereum blockchain are ERC-20 compliant, and the clear majority of your airdropped tokens is going to be ERC-20 ones.
Just to give you an idea, the list of ERC-20 tokens includes OmiseGo (OMG), Maker (MKR), 0x (ZRX) and many many more.
To sum up…
If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking of buying Ether yourself.
But remember, the best way to start with crypto is to airdrop the coins you will not regret to lose.
So keep an eye out for the latest updates on our home page!
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