If you’ve heard of blockchain, you must have also heard of Ethereum as well. Ethereum is an open-source, decentralized, and distributed computing platform that facilitates the development of Smart Contracts and DApps (decentralized applications). Ethereum also has a native cryptocurrency, Ether, which is the second most used cryptocurrency following Bitcoin.
A Smart Contract is a self-executing agreement that is programmed and recorded on Ethereum. It is essentially a computer protocol that facilitates, verifies, and enforces the negotiation and execution of an agreement between two or more parties.
Smart Contracts operate on the “if” logic – if an action A occurs, it will result in another action B. These contracts have a user interface that you could implement as a web page or a mobile application. Smart Contracts can run without any third-party involvement or censorship, nor do they exhibit any downtime.
Check out our free courses to get an edge over the competition.
Ethereum’s Smart Contract infrastructure is powered by the four core building blocks of the DApp technology:
- Cryptographic tokens & addresses – This is a secure voucher system and a standard for computing value designed via cryptography. Using cryptographic tokens and addresses, you create new blocks/assets on existing blockchains. They are used for payment purposes and also to denote pseudonymous identities.
- Peer-to-peer networking – Just like Bitcoin, Ethereum too runs on P2P networks wherein individual users create a network by connecting their computers to enable data exchange data in a decentralized server.
- Consensus algorithms – These advanced algorithms allow users to reach a consensus on a blockchain network’s present state. Typically, an Ethereum blockchain reaches consensus every 15 seconds.
- Turing complete VM – A VM (virtual machine) refers to a computer designed in the form of software capable of running on a layer of abstraction above the underlying hardware. Ethereum uses the Turing complete VM, a robust system that can run any program and implement any program in another complete system.
Learn Online Software Development Courses from the World’s top Universities. Earn Executive PG Programs, Advanced Certificate Programs or Masters Programs to fast-track your career.
Advantages of using Ethereum blockchain
Ethereum is based on the fundamental principle of blockchain, that is, it is a public, decentralized ledger that stores records of any digital transaction. Naturally, it isn’t governed or administered by one single or centralized authority. Miners/peers verify all transactions occurring in an Ethereum network on the network.
So, each time a new block is added and verified on an Ethereum network, the miner is awarded an Ether. What’s best is that you cannot modify or corrupt the Ethereum blocks – it is an immutable digital ledger that can only be accessed by a unique cryptographic key. Thus, Ethereum being devoid of a central point of failure, the DApps, and Smart Contracts are safe from security breaches like hacking.
Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in Cyber Security
To sum it up, DApps built on Ethereum are unique because:
- They generate innovative digital currencies and assets.
- They create web apps that are immutable and uncensorable.
- They are managed and verified collectively by a network of peers.
Explore our Popular Software Engineering Courses
Ethereum blockchain: Use cases
Smart Contracts have revolutionized how transactions occur in the digital world, making them safe, speedy, and transparent for all the parties involved. Here are a few use cases of Ethereum:
Banking and financial services – Smarts Contracts are immensely useful in the BFSI sector since they can simplify financial procedures. Since all the parties can see the terms of the agreement, there remains no scope for error in financial transactions/procedures. Smart Contracts can be used for mortgages, national bonds, and insurance claims.
Prediction markets – Prediction markets present an excellent platform for leveraging Ethereum since it allows forecasters and researchers to accumulate and store relevant data securely. They can then use this data to make informed decisions and predictions regarding events like election campaigns, auctions, sports matches, etc.
Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in Cloud Computing
Digital identity management – Today, all companies that function online have an abundance of user data (name, address, credit/debit card information, etc.) that could be easily hacked, violated, or manipulated. Ethereum can solve this problem of data monopoly. If a company store the digital identities and user data in the uPort app, it remains safe from the hands of cybercriminals as only that particular company will be able to access the data.
Read our Popular Articles related to Software Development
Learn Ethereum free: The upGrad advantage
Given that Ethereum is a massively popular Blockchain platform gaining ground in the modern industry, it makes sense if you choose to learn Ethereum. Here’s the cherry on top – you can learn Ethereum for free! upGrad has a fantastic online Ethereum free course as a part of its upStart-Priceless Learning initiative. This Ethereum free course will not only introduce you to the basic Blockchain concepts, but it will also get you ready for Blockchain industry roles.
upGrad’s Ethereum free course spans for four weeks, during which you will be trained by qualified instructors and reputed industry leaders. You will have access to upGrad’s top-notch Blockchain-specific learning resources, attend online lectures and learning sessions, and obtain immediate feedback from your mentors. On course completion, upGrad will award you with a certificate of completion. In four weeks, the course will cover three core modules:
1. Blockchain Basics
The first module introduces candidates to the fundamental concepts of blockchain, Ethereum, and cryptography, including Smart contracts, PKI, Digital Signatures, etc. It will also teach learners about the role that each concept plays in a blockchain network and how they help overcome the limitations of existing legacy systems.
2. Blockchain Features
In this module, students will get started with the global use-cases of blockchain. The primary focus of this module is Bitcoin network architecture, Smart Contracts, and their key features.
3. Smart Contract development in Ethereum
The final module takes on a more hands-on approach by training learners on Smart Contract development in Ethereum. While students learn how to write Smart Contracts in blockchain languages like Solidity, Ganache, and Web3.js, they also learn how to deploy them on Ethereum. This practical exercise allows learners to be well-versed with the nitty-gritty of Ethereum’s architecture.
The demand for blockchain skills is soaring right now. Companies are ever-ready to shell out high annual packages to candidates who’re qualified and skilled enough to take charge of blockchain job profiles.
How to Start
To join our machine learning online course free, follow these simple steps:
- Head to our upStart page
- Choose the course you want to join
All the courses present on our upStart page are available for free and don’t require any monetary investment. These courses help you kickstart your learning journey and get acquainted with the fundamentals of such complicated subjects.
Sign up here to join our free machine learning course today.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know through the comments. We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re intrigued by reading this article and want to start your Blockchain career, you can visit upGrad. Check out IIIT-B & upGrad’s Advanced certificate program in blockchain technology to learn building smart contracts and chain codes. The course will surely help you understand Blockchain’s basics and its future in marketing strategy.
What is Ether?
Ether, symbolized as ETH, is the native token of the Ethereum blockchain and the fuel that keeps it functioning. On Ethereum, each activity requires a certain amount of computing power. Gas was created as a way to track and reward miners for the amount of time they spend completing transactions and smart contracts. Gas is a unique metric for the Ethereum blockchain that measures the amount of computational power required to complete transactions or smart contracts within the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). The amount of gas needed is proportional to the amount of energy necessary to carry out an operation. Each ether unit is equivalent to one gram of gas. Ether incentivizes miners to validate transaction blocks and developers to write simple, high-quality code due to this.
How does Ethereum work?
To validate network transactions, Ethereum relies on nodes that are free to run. Nodes can hold the entire or a fraction of Ethereum transaction history, as well as the most up-to-date information on smart contract status, account balances, and more. At the core of Ethereum is the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), a trustless and executable environment for smart contracts, which are computer protocols that permit, verify, and execute the negotiation and execution of some digital agreement. The EVM executes a contract in accordance with the developer's guidelines. To run these programs, the EVM employs a bytecode language. Ethereum programmers may use Ethereum programming languages like Solidity and others to create smart contracts and decentralized apps.
How is Bitcoin different from Ethereum?
Most of the underlying concepts of Bitcoin and Ethereum are similar. Both blockchain networks use a Proof of Work consensus process and have a number of cryptographic features in common with blockchain technology. Ethereum, on the other hand, was built to solve opportunities that the Bitcoin blockchain can not handle. A key characteristic distinguishing Ethereum from Bitcoin is smart contracts, which are agreements saved in code and performed automatically. One of the most notable differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum is the programming languages they utilize. Ethereum uses a Turing-complete programming language, whereas Bitcoin uses a stack-based programming language. Their hashing techniques and block times differ as well.