What, Why, and How of Ethereum? (1 / 2)
The simplest read on Blockchain and Ethereum. (Part-1)
If you have been following any social media, there are fairly high chances that you might have heard the word Blockchain, especially about Ethereum blockchain. Everyone's really optimistic about it, but very few of them truly understand it.
In this article, I have tried to break down the Ethereum blockchain into very easily chewable bites. If you are new to blockchain, you might need to bookmark this article. 😉
Let's jump right in! 🚀
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is one of the largest blockchain implementations in the world, which was founded by Vitalik Buterin. It has unique features of supporting logic codes on-chain(on the blockchain).
First of all, let's talk about Blockchain!
What is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a cryptographically secure transactional singleton machine with shared state. Yeah, it's quite intimidating, but it won't be after this breakdown.
- "Cryptographically secure" - This means is that every transaction is secured by intense mathematical functions(Specifically, Hashing Functions) which convert this data into a long string( also called Hash), which cannot be feasibly converted back to the original data.
- "Transactional singleton machine" - This means that a blockchain has a single global presence and truth. There is only one blockchain of one type like there is only one Ethereum, or one Solana, or one Bitcoin. The transaction of one blockchain doesn't affect the others.
- "With shared state" - It means that the state(or condition) of the blockchain is shared and open to everyone. State of the blockchain means the "condition" of the blockchain. For instance, every new transaction changes the condition/state of the blockchain.
So in simple words, a blockchain is a unique databank that has a globally single presence and has publically available truth.
(But if there is a private blockchain, their data is not public.)
Blockchain is a chain of blocks. 🤷
Okay, it literally means that. Blockchain is a series of blocks that are connected to previous blocks via hashes. Let's break that down -
- Hash - It is the output of hashing function(in Ethereum's case, this is the Keccak256 hashing function) and looks something like this (the demonstration uses SHA256 Hashing)
- Block - It refers to a packet that contains, a block number, a nonce, transactions, hash of the previous block, and hash of the present block. The hash here is generated from the combination of all the elements inside a block.
What does Blockchain do?
The Ethereum docs refer to blockchain as a "public database that is updated and shared across many computers(nodes) in a network".
The blockchain makes it easier to make data decentralized. But, what do decentralized means? It means that the data is not owned by an individual entity. For example, traditional banks hold your data and money and they are in power to control that in ways like sharing data with the government and giving out loans from your money, thus making your data and money centralized.
But, why do we need Ethereum? What was the urgency to set up this massive network? We will be discussing this on our next blog.
Stay tuned for exciting stuff! Until then, tell me in the comments, what do you like most about blockchain.
I'll catch you in the next one!