Ethereum

Ethereum is an open source computing infrastructure, or programmable Blockchain, also known as the "World Computer", which has been in existence since 2015. 

 

Ethereum offers the programming language "Solidity" for developing distributed applications (Dapps) based on the distributed ledger technology. The Dapps are used to create smart contracts and to manage digital values.

Nowadays, through Ethereum, thousands of applications are being developed, from wallets to financial applications to games. The developers are guaranteed transparency, auditability and neutrality [1].

Ethereum is a Public Blockchain and is not controlled by a central entity. To make this possible the own cryptocurrency Ether is used as the proof of work for verification [2].  After Bitcoin, this is the most popular cryptocurrency with the second highest market capitalization (May 2020). This means that systems state changes can be stored and synchronized, while constraining the execution costs [1]. In addition, Ethereum, like every Blockchain, has a peer-to-peer protocol, that means the database is maintained and updated by all nodes and each node runs via the so-called Ethereum Virtual Machine [3].

An improved version called Ethereum 2.0 (Eth2) has been announced for the end of 2020, which includes the consensus mechanism proof of stake instead of proof of work.

[1] Antonopoulos, A. (2018): Mastering Ethereum Implementing Digital Contracts

[2] Heines, R. (2017): Blockchain Technology Applications: A Conceptual Framework from a Supply Chain Perspective

[3] ISO/PDTR 23455:, 2018, Switzerland, Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies

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