In the market of crypto currencies Ethereum comes in second in position as per popularity and reliability, after Bitcoin. Even though Bitcoin made the concept and usage of crypto currency popular in the digital platform, Ethereum has followed on its heels and there is much that it promises, potential for growth, reliability and scalability. Many people who have transacted with crypto currency have already started to experiment with Ethereum. Indeed, there is much that this crypto currency can offer, especially given the limited supply of its competitor crypto currency Bitcoin. This crypto currency can be defined as a decentralized platform that enables people to transact in contracts. The application has gained reputation and popularity as there have been no downtime problems, cases of fraud, interference by third parties or censorship problems.
Ethereum main net
This is public main net where anything that is published needs Ether to be executed. Many people opt for an Ethereum test net that allow one to test smart contracts. The network of Ethereum can be defined to be a decentralized platform where peer to peer network is formed of the participating nodes that help to secure as well as maintain the Blockchain. There is a dashboard called EthStats.net where live statistics is maintained of the transactions that are conducted on the Ethereum main net. The dashboard provides information pertaining to the current block, gas price, gas spent and hash difficulty. The nodes showcased on the page reflect nodes on the network that are actually there. Any user can add nodes to this dashboard. Ethernodes.com showcases historical as well as current data that depends on node count. Other kinds of information about Ethereum main net also are found on this website. The projects on Ethereum are executed as public Blockchain and access is granted to several users, currencies, markets and network nodes. Blockchains can be private, consortium or public and these all contribute to the ecosystem of the Ethereum.
The following sections explore the popular digital wallet platforms through which one can transact in this crypto currency. Every wallet has certain unique features and advantages to offer which make them easy or convenient as per the nature of usage for different users.
You need to run a full node when you wish to make full use of a crypto currency. You also need to have a framework whereby Blockchain that supports such currency can be stored on your computer. For such reasons a reliable wallet platform is a necessity. For those who wish to use a reliable and lightweight application they can opt to open an account with MyEtherWallet. This application has features akin to other web wallets, but in certain cases it is unique:
• You need not save it on your servers or create an account.
• It will broadcast your transactions and through the full node system.
• One can back up their transactions.
• Use it offline or online.
There are simple ways to use this wallet system. When you log onto the website you create an account by choosing a unique and strong password for your account on this platform. The private key that provides for your needs to be stored, either by downloading .json file, saving an encrypted version of it or simply copy pasting the password from the site and saving it on a document on your computer. The wallet address needs to be saved or you could scan and save the QR code. This allows you to send any sender a payment by sending them a copy of your public key either by sending them your wallet address or QR code of the wallet.
This is another Ethereum client that can easily integrate with the web browser of your computer. The wallet works by the token and Ether functions. The platform works as a GUI browser where different Ethereum features are also offered such as dApps. This full node wallet stores Blockchain on the computer of the users. For those who are looking to start usage of Parity as an Ethereum Wallet they will find it compatible with Windows, Docker, OSX and Ubuntu. Once the compatible wallet client is downloaded, choose an avatar name along with a strong password. You will be given a public address where you can receive payments and a seed that is required in case you need to restore your wallet. This wallet platform has several useful functions such as importing accounts from other Ethereum wallet platforms. You can upload other wallet private keys here and choose among other options that show up on your dashboard. To transact such as receive Ether you can send across ETH to any accounts you store as Ether or other compatible token forms.
This is an easy and free wallet to use for transacting in Ethereum. In order to get started find the link for the download option of this app. Find the right compatible version as per the computer you are using which can also be mobile devices. Hence, it would work for your mobile Android platform as it would for OSX and IOS mobile and Mac. Once the installation is complete on your computer, you would find step by step instructions to create a new wallet account. One needs to set up a security PIN. You can choose the kind of tokens and crypt currencies you wish to transact in and select the FIAT currency to reflect the right value of your account or portfolio. It is advisable that one takes note of their backup phrase and stores it securely. Pairing your phone app with the wallet is a good way to secure your account as well as have a way to recover it. The app offers different features such as switching between tokens and currencies; one can also opt for currency conversion; it is possible to check the current balance of one’s currency or token and transaction history on this app.
A Guide to Ethereum
After Bitcoin, Ethereum is the most well-known of the other cryptocurrencies. Introduced in 2015, Ethereum is a distributed public blockchain network. Despite having has a turbulent history to date, Ethereum has a current market capitalisation of US $26 billion.
Ethereum differs from Bitcoin in both aim and capability. Bitcoin is essentially focused on one area of blockchain capability, which is running online peer to peer electronic cash system that facilitates online Bitcoin payments. The Bitcoin blockchain tracks ownership of digital currencies; the Ethereum network by contrast is focused on running the programming code of any decentralised application. Ethereum also has much greater flexibility. While all blockchains have the ability to process code, most, like bitcoin’s are quite limited, Ethereum is different, and allows developers to create almost limitless applications, which go far beyond anything that has been seen previously.
There is another big difference. Instead of mining for Bitcoin, in the Ethereum blockchain miners work to earn Ether, a type of crypto token that underpins the network. Ether also allows application developers on the Ethereum network to pay for transaction fees and services.
One of the key features of the Ethereum platform is the concept of a Smart Contract – essentially a computer protocol which facilitates and enforces the performance of a contract. The Smart Contract is, in essence, a legal agreement between you and the service provider – public, verified code that lives on the public ethereum blockchain. A smart contract is like a computer program that is automatically executed when specific conditions are met. And, because they are run on the blockchain platform, contracts will be executed just as programmed – with no possibility of downtime or third party interference.
One limitation with the Ethereum system is that any code is only as good as the human who wrote it. Smart contracts are written by humans who make mistakes, so any code errors or bugs can only be stopped or eradicated by getting network consensus. Somebody will then need to intervene and re-write the code – which goes against the ethos of a distributed network!
Another main feature of Ethereum is the use of meta tokens or coins, supported by the platform and powered by the Ethereum Blockchain. Meta coins can be regarded as a new financing model for projects (in fact, crowdfunding for the development of the Ethereum platform itself was enabled through meta tokens)! Meta tokens act as a kind of share in the underlying project and, because the blockchains, on which the tokens, or coins, live, are open and distributed, anybody can invest in a project. Participation in project funding is no longer limited to investment banks or finance industry insiders. With a blockchain, meta-coin investors directly benefit from ownership of the token itself.
Where Ethereum potentially offers so much more than Bitcoin is because it is active, with its own programming language called Solidity. This makes it much more powerful than Bitcoin which is, essentially, passive in nature – if you want to make a transaction, load up your wallet, input an address and amount, and hit “send”.
Ethereum by contrast offers the possibility of acting like a giant super computer on which anybody can execute code. It is the potential that this offers, and the much wider possible applications of the Ethereum blockchain which has got so many major firms and governments interested in the technology, and which should see its market value continue to rise.