An open-source, public, and blockchain-based distributed computing platform and operating system featuring a smart contract functionality, Ethereum enables distributed applications to be built and executed without any downtime, fraud, control, or interference from a third-party entity. Ethereum is not just a platform but also a Turing-complete programming language running on a blockchain that helps developers publish distributed applications.
One of the big projects around Ethereum is Microsoft’s partnership with ConsenSys which offers Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) on Microsoft Azure to empower enterprise clients and developers with a single click cloud-based blockchain developer environment.
‘Bitcoin is first and foremost a currency; this is one particular application of a blockchain. However, it is far from the only application. To take a past example of a similar situation, e-mail is one particular use of the Internet, and for sure helped popularise it, but there are many others,’ says Dr Gavin Wood, Ethereum Co-founder.
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Any service which is centralized initially can be decentralized using Ethereum. From services like loans to their intermediary counterparts, Ethereum can revolutionize thousands of processes that exist across different industries and verticals. Now think, if all of them get decentralized, how secure and efficient would every aspect of human existence would become.
Ethereum can also be used to build decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Fully autonomous, and decentralized organizations with no single leader, DAOs are operated by programming codes, on a collection of smart contracts written on the Ethereum blockchain. A DAO is owned by everyone who purchases tokens. However, instead of each token equating to equity shares and ownership, they act as contributions that give people voting rights for a consensus.
Ethereum has recently created a new standard. Termed as the ERC-721 token, this standard is used for tracking unique digital assets. A major use case for these tokens is digital collectibles. The infrastructure of these tokens allows people to prove ownership of scarce digital goods.
No doubt, Ethereum will continue to prove its mantle in the marketplace as it has been doing since it first came to public sight.
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