Basic Overview of Blockchain Technology
To understand the Ethereum Smart Contracts’ fundamental concept, one must understand the basics of blockchain technology. A blockchain is a database containing the transactions or digital events distributed and shared between the parties. This implies that once the information has been entered into the system, it cannot be erased, creating a verifiable record. The transactions between two people are hence unregulated by any third party.
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The Functioning of Smart Contracts concerning Blockchain
Smart Contracts are an exciting feature of blockchain technology. The Smart Contracts is a code that runs as a blockchain in order to enforce an agreement between the two parties, and this does not involve the third party.
The transactions that happen usually between two parties are conducted through a centralized format. This involves a third party, which is a bank in most cases. This, however, involves several security issues or high fees. Since blockchain was originally introduced for Bitcoin, it has considerably been used for other decentralized apps as well.
The smart contracts are the code that runs on the blockchain to execute the terms and conditions of the agreement between the two parties. It is a system that releases all the digital assets to the parties once the contract rules have been adhered to.
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One of the most popular platforms for the development of smart contracts is Ethereum. One of the primary reasons is that it supports the language of ‘Turing Completeness’ and provides the liberty to create advanced contracts.
What is Ethereum
Ethereum is claimed to be a programmable blockchain globally; this technology enables you to transfer cryptocurrency to any individual for a specific amount. Ethereum is a platform that provides access to the users, to digitized money, along with services that are data-friendly, irrespective of their background and location.
Ethereum, hence lets you utilize your digital money due to it being programmable, making it of a versatile nature. What constitutes Ethereum is that it’s a tech built by the community, behind the cryptocurrency ether (ETH) and other thousands of applications that come across every day. This also implies that Ethereum can be used not only for financial services but also for other apps that cannot steal or censor your data.
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What Ethereum aims for is to make financial transactions more straightforward. It also guarantees to provide a more private webspace, as filling out personal details is not a requirement for the app.
Moreover, a peer to peer network is promised, which eliminates the communication with the middle-companies, which then helps establish direct contact with the person. Moreover, it is unregulated by a third party since it is decentralized. Another winning factor about Ethereum is the compatibility of the products.
Using Ethereum to formulate smart contracts
Smart Contracts imply a program that operates completely on the Ethereum Blockchain. Both code and data reside in a special address on the blockchain. Hence, Smart Contracts are composed of Ethereum Accounts, which have a specific amount and can transact through the network.
A user does not control it, but the user accounts can communicate through the smart contract by submitting the transactions that fulfill the contract’s function. The Smart Contract hence acts as a standard contract which contains all the rules and regulations regarding the same, and will automatically enforce the same through the code.
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The main intention of Ethereum is to combine and improve the concepts of scripting, altcoins, and hence allows to invent and creation of more arbitrary, and well as consensus-based applications that are scalable, standardized, and have feature completeness, and to the ease of the develop different paradigms at the same time.
What Ethereum does is by constructing an abstract foundational layer. It is a blockchain made ‘Turing completeness’ programming language and allows anyone to write smart contracts for decentralized apps where there are arbitrary regulations for ownership.
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In Ethereum, there are several small ‘accounts ‘that are objects, with each account holding addresses up to 20 bytes, and there are direct transfers of the values and the information between the two accounts.
There are, namely, four fields that make up the Ethereum Account, as follows:
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- Nonce: A counter, which makes sure to check every transaction to be processed only once.
- Ether Balance: Ether balance, equivalent to Bitcoin, is the net balance of the ether in the account, traded as digital assets.
- A Contract Code
- Storage: An account’s storage, which will, by default, be empty.
It is also important to shed light on the term ‘Ether,’ which here is like a ‘crypto-fuel,’ normally used to pay the fees for the transactions. There also exist two kinds of Accounts. Externally Owned Accounts, one controlled by Private Keys, and others are the contract accounts covered by the Contract Code.
It is to be noted that the externally owned account has no code, and hence a message can be sent from one externally owned account by creating and signing a transaction. While in cases of contract account, whenever the message in the code activates, it shall read and write to the internal storage and then create contracts in return.
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Ethereum is hence a decentralized platform, running smart contracts. They run on the Ethereum Virtual Machines. Therefore, it is one of the most common blockchain platforms for the development of smart contracts. Ethereum, a public blockchain, proves viable since the language supports the ‘Turing Completeness’ feature, allowing it to create advanced and custom-made contracts.
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Do other platforms provide smart contracts? How do they compare to Ethereum?
There are a few blockchain platforms that include smart contracts. Ethereum is the most well-known and famous platform for developing smart contracts. Other platforms that support smart contracts include NEO, Qtum, and Cardano. Both Qtum and Ethereum are platforms for developing decentralized applications. Qtum is based on Bitcoin’s UTXO model, while Ethereum is based on the principle of smart contracts. Qtum is faster and more efficient than Ethereum, and it also has a more secure protocol. Qtum is better at handling businesses and commercial applications, while Ethereum is better suited for launching Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
Is it better to specialize in Ethereum or gain knowledge in different platforms?
If you try to gain knowledge in various platforms, you will know all the new features and how to use them. You will also be able to shift from one platform to another depending on your needs. You will not be tied down to a particular platform, making you adaptable to the situation. But it is better to specialize in Ethereum because it is the most popular platform for developing decentralized applications. And observing the market trend, the usage and popularity of Ethereum are rising, and specializing in it will enable you to decrease working time and increase efficiency.
What programming language is used in Ethereum? How does it compare to Python?