Author: Aleksandar Mihajlovski, Developer
Is Ethereum similar to Bitcoin? Well, sort of, but not really. The structure of the Ethereum blockchain is very similar to bitcoin’s, keeping a shared record of the entire transaction history. Every node in the network stores a copy of this history.
Ethereum is a distributed public blockchain network that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications (dapps), that’s the advantage and first step to get into blockchain technology. The most important thing when creating this kind of application are smart contracts. Smart contract is just a phrase used to describe computer code that can facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares, or anything of value.
Benefits of dapps:
- Zero downtime (Ethereum guarantees that applications will never go down and can never be switched off)
Downsides of dapps:
- Those aren’t faultless
- Smart contract code is written by humans, smart contracts are only as good as the people who write them
Ethers (coins) should be kept in a safe place or at least we should have a place to store our private keys. This brings us to Ethereum “wallets”. Important thing about these networks is that losing your private key is a much bigger deal than misplacing a password, it means losing your ether forever.
The Ethereum dapps are split into two types: applications that manage money and applications in the “other” category, which includes voting and governance systems.
If you are interested into developing your first decentralized application, this is the initial setup you need:
- Get a blockchain (https://metamask.io/ + https://github.com/ethereumjs/testrpc)
- Talk to the blockchain (https://github.com/ethereum/web3.js/)
- Write some smart contracts
- Deploy those smart contracts (http://truffleframework.com/)
Ok, now we have enough tools to be dangerous, let’s get started!