There are a small number of online casinos who deal with Ethereum tokens. At the moment however we are currently assessing them and reviewing them. In the meantime though we have a few words of warning for Ethereum investers. Namely the fact that there is a lot of competition coming up against it and the fact that Ethereum is not scaleable makes it highly vulnerable to lose the majority of it’s market share and value.
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Ethereum for beginners:
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum Blockchain is a software platform that allows developers to create and use smart contracts and decentralized applications (DApps). The distributed public Blockchain network is based on the Blockchain technology which enables users to run programming code of decentralized applications without any intervention from third parties.
Mining of Ether
Ether is the cryptocurrency token that runs the Ethereum Blockchain platform. Ether (ETH) is issued through the block mining process at a constant annual rate. This helps to keep the yearly supply of Ether at about eighteen million. A reward of five Ether is given to the person who mines a new Ethereum block after every twelve seconds. It is also used by application developers to cover for transaction charges and pay for other services on the Ethereum network.
Other methods of obtaining Ethereum
Ethereum (Ether) can be acquired through a cryptocurrency exchange which provides a simple way to purchase, trade, and store Ether.
The smart contract is a self-operating computer program that executes automatically after specific conditions are satisfied. Intelligent contracts are used to allow valuable items such as funds, shares, property, and content to be exchanged.
Uses of the Ethereum Blockchain
Ethereum enables developers to create and set up decentralized applications that execute on a Blockchain network thus avoiding third party control. It can also help in decentralizing any centralized services as it eliminates the interference caused by intermediaries.
The Blockchain is also used to generate independent organizations known as Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) which are operated using software that executes the smart contracts programmed on the Ethereum Blockchain.
These independent organizations (programs) are designed to operate by changing the structure and policies applied by a traditional organization such as the use of human resources and centralized management.
Any individual does not own decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO); they are co-owned by all the individuals who buy the tokens which work as contributions that give these individuals voting rights. This is as opposed to ordinary shares which provide ownership to the shareholders.
Also, Ethereum Blockchain can be used as a platform that helps in establishing new cryptocurrency projects. The Ethereum Foundation has put forward a standard token called the ERC20 which developers can use to create different versions of the token and generate money through initial coin offering (ICO).
Initial coin offering (ICO) is a fundraising strategy where token developers raise a pre-determined amount of money by issuing the token in a crowdsale in exchange for Ether.
In addition, the Ethereum Blockchain provides the standard ERC721 token which is intended to assist in digital assets tracking. This technology is widely used in the gaming industry to create games and in digital collectibles market since the technology enables users to verify the possession of rare digital commodities.
The advantage of Ethereum decentralized Platform
Since decentralized applications (DApps) execute on the Blockchain platform, they are free from third party interference
Ethereum is secured using cryptography and is not managed centrally; this reduces the risk of failure and protects the applications from cyber attacks. Also, the apps are protected from manipulation and downtime.
The disadvantage of Ethereum decentralized Platform
Code errors and omissions may cause spontaneous and undesirable actions such as obtaining a network synchronization and modifying the necessary code in an attempt to stop an attack in case someone takes advantage of an error in the code to corrupt the system. This changes the Blockchain thus it violates the standard that requires it to be immutable.
Ethereum provides an easy to use platform that allows individuals to exploit the potential of the Blockchain technology. It also helps in changing the way people conduct their business online. Through the decentralized applications, Ethereum has transformed the Internet from being a source of information to a place where different people can exchange the value of various commodities and also avoid any interference from third parties.
Ethereum Blockchain platform is among the most important players in the burgeoning Blockchain industry. This is because the Blockchain platform allows people to contribute to developing the Ethereum Blockchain technology thus helping in creating new features and apps that assist in quickening the decentralization of the financial system. The Blockchain technology is gaining widespread acceptance with financial institutions and various countries adopting Ethereum as the initial building block to Blockchain technology.
Some Ethereum competitors include:
- EOS = EOS has just gone live with it’s mainnet. There are huge problems here though with it not being decentralised and just a couple of days after live date it completely froze and the big holders deleted a dozen users they claim were fraudulent. Add to that numerous rumours of security flaws and you have a risky prospect here.
- Tron TRX = Just about to go live end of June 2018. There are already dozens of ERC20 tokens on the Ethereum platform who are going to migrate to Tron once it is fully live. With financial backing from Alibaba and the Chinese government (strong rumours at least) and with big name companies such as Obikes, Game.com and Wesley Snijder’s sporting group in China all on board and with Tron having bought Bittorrent for $120m in June 2018 this is a project that is destined to take over a huge portion of the Ethereum userbase and value.
- Stellar XLM = Stellar Lumens have backing from IBM to rule certain parts of the smart contract industry.
- Ripple / XRP / Coil / Codius = The true big boy of the blockchain industry. Codius was developed by Ripple but has since gone completely open source under the hood of a new company Coil. More on this Ethereum killer below:
Codius: Smart Contracts Done Right
A vending machine doesn’t care who you are. It’s a simple machine that serves a simple purpose: To dispense a chosen food or beverage to those that insert the appropriate amount of money. It’s automated – it doesn’t require human intervention, and it knows if it has received the correct value.
It also has an ‘if-then’ type of logic, just in case you gave it too much money; it will process a refund of the excess money in the form of change.
Again, no human intervention required.
This is an example of the simplest form of smart contract. There are two parties to the transaction: The vending machine and you. Because it doesn’t require a human to dispense the food or beverage, the cost for the company supplying the machine is quite low – it’s essentially the cost of the machine plus electricity to run it. Yes, somebody has to occasionally stock it, but it serves as a good example of why there are vending machines all over the world – its simplicity and ability to execute a smart contract without any human intervention or central authority has made it economical.
Now contrast this with buying a car.
It’s not a pleasant experience. It requires a significant investment of time. And even now in 2018 it requires a central authority – a person – to look through various documents. There are many ‘if-then’ circumstances that a human must navigate through: Are you trading in a car with your purchase? That scenario will require a different set of actions than if you are purchasing a vehicle with no trade-in.
Do you need to finance the new car?
Again, that will require a completely optional set of actions that will include approved financing. The central authority involved is usually the finance specialist at the dealership, and they are adept at quickly determining the appropriate steps to take to complete the sale (contract). Technology specialists have enabled almost every facet of business, knowledge-sharing, and entertainment to be convenient and easy, but collectively we still have far to go in the simplification of our legal business dealings with one another.
The team at Ripple has created a solution to this. Before I describe it, let’s talk about smart contracts generally.
What is a Smart Contract?
A smart contract is simply a contract that has been digitized and uses a distributed ledger or a blockchain for settlement. It must have the ability to accept inputs and then update the database (in the case of a smart contract, the database is considered the blockchain or distributed ledger).
Previous to smart contracts, a central party was always involved. This could be a bank, a financial company, or lawyer. Usually, a person representing the organization would determine if all parties to the contract had met their obligation.
For example, when buying a house at a bank, various agreements and documentation is necessary to satisfy regulatory requirements and the needs of all financial stakeholders to the contract. Did the buyer receive the deed? Did the seller receive the money? These facts are important to the overall sale contract for the house. Perhaps a mortgage is involved, and with it mortgage insurance. Each of these variables can be considered components of a complex equation.
A smart contract’s goal is to serve as that central authority.
A smart contract should be able to, once it receives confirmation of necessary ingredients, determine which parts of a contract need to be executed next, or if the contract has been executed successfully. Essentially, a smart contract can be thought of as a computer program that, when given certain inputs, can calculate the end result with deterministic certainty.
In addition, the data – inputs and outputs – can then be stored on an immutable distributed ledger or blockchain. This assures that nobody has tampered with the data or result (immutability), and that the processing is decentralized among a variety of stakeholders (distributed).
How Does Codius Compare to Ethereum?
Ethereum built its smart contract capabilities into its native blockchain code, whereas Ripple opted to create Codius separate and apart from the XRP Ledger.
Stefan Thomas, Ripple’s CTO at the time, described this major architectural difference in a video from 2015. 1 In the video, Stefan Thomas describes that the security model of a cryptographic network is complex enough without adding programmability; he compared this concept to adding programming logic to a database, rather than just using it for data storage. This subtlety ended up defining a major difference between Ripple’s approach to architecting and designing a smart contract platform versus the way that the team behind Ethereum viewed its own project.
You can see from the above diagram that the Ripple team regarded the blockchain that contained the native currency nothing more than the immutable database that contains the result(s) of the contract.
This difference, although nuanced, is profound. Here’s how the Codius website elaborates on the point:
“Previously, most distributed applications in the cryptocurrency community were written in such a way that clients interacted directly with ledgers/blockchains (databases). However, oftentimes applications need to interact with multiple clients, multiple ledgers/blockchains and other Internet services. An application logic layer is the ideal place to host such functionality.”
This means that Codius was constructed not as an additional part of one crypto network, but as a completely separate element that stands on its own. In addition, since it is not tied to a specific cryptocurrency, it can settle with any currency – including fiat. This opens up amazing doors for Codius that are closed to smart contracts on Ethereum.
Codius Interacts with Any Other Network
Codius has two components – a smart contract engine and a smart oracle. The smart oracle can be configured to keep track of nondeterministic information which may affect the outcome of the contract. This complimentary relationship allows for maximum flexibility while not sacrificing security.
Ripple took time away from Codius development in 2016 and 2017 to devote key resources to creating a new payments standard for the Internet. That standard was known as the Interledger Protocol, or ILP. It allows any ledger –whether a bank’s ledger or a cryptographic network ledger – to communicate with outside networks as long as those networks have an ILP plugin. Thus far, plugins have been created for a number of major cryptographic networks, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
This strategy, while temporarily ceding the smart contracts market to others, provided the basis for completing the Codius architecture; it is now the most interoperable of all the smart contract platforms given its usage of ILP.
From Stefan Thomas, Ripple’s former CTO: 2
“Codius works differently than smart contracts in Bitcoin or Ethereum. The contracts run on independent hosts without an underlying blockchain, similar to traditional hosting. This allows them to interact with any service or API, scale infinitely, and read from or write to any blockchain. The key challenge of smart contracts — interoperability — was solved.”
Because of the Codius separation between the smart contract and the cryptographic network(s) used for contract settlement, David Schwartz, Ripple’s Chief Cryptographer, noted one intriguing difference between Codius and Ethereum: 3
“Another biggest difference, perhaps one of the most important, is that Codius can keep secrets while Ethereum can’t. That means Codius can, for example, control a bitcoin wallet while an Ethereum smart contract can’t.”
It’s a powerful value proposition for architects and developers that work for banks and other financial institutions; a trustless, decentralized architecture that is secure and flexible at the same time, that can settle in any currency, and on any network or ledger.
Can You Participate?
Yes, you can run a Codius host.
There are no rules about who can or cannot run a Codius host; however, the Codius website provides some perspective and context about why somebody should consider running a host, as well as some of the implications.4
“Running a Codius host means being in the hosting business. You should do it, if you believe that you’ll be able to do it well and outcompete others who do the same thing…
…Because Codius is intended for high-security and financial applications, users will be very sensitive to your reputation. You likely won’t see a lot of traffic until you have built a record of reliability.”
So although it is definitely an open source project intended to be built upon, keep in mind that there are some technical considerations when setting up your host. To access more detailed information about how to run a Codius host, you can refer to a number of online guides. Here is one from Stefan Thomas himself:
And for those that like videos, here is one from a user that I assume is not connected to Ripple:
For those that are already going through the steps and would like to interact with other developers, I discovered that the ‘Gitter’ room is active with others that are working through projects and activities involving Codius. Here is a link to that room: https://gitter.im/codius/codius-chat
Developers Will Love This
Developers have a mixed reaction to Ethereum, because of multiple factors. Most understand that its performance cannot scale, and they also do not like the requirement that Ethereum mandates the usage of a specific, esoteric scripting language known as ‘Solidity.’
Codius, by contrast, allows developers to use any Turing-complete language they prefer.
How Codius Benefits XRP
Like ILP, Codius emphasizes interoperability.
From what I’ve seen in the crypto space, it’s a common occurrence for those involved to try and build walls around their favorite cryptocurrency and protect it from competition. But that only emphasizes a network’s weakness when compared with others in the same market. It takes a visionary company to invest in the infrastructure that creates an ‘even playing field’ for the entire market. And with Codius, we see that Ripple (and now Coil as well) is building that interoperability with the full knowledge that it will provide developers with the opportunity to build applications that may settle on other networks than the XRP Ledger.
However, keep in mind that the XRP Ledger is the strongest among the various cryptocurrency networks by a wide margin. Instead of mandating that Codius smart contracts settle with XRP, it was built to allow the developer to decide fully how the contract is settled, and on which ledger.
Which network will developers most likely use to settle smart contracts? You tell me:
Potential Market for Codius
Susan Athey is a Professor of Economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and she is also on the Ripple Board of Directors.6 In a video recorded shortly after Codius’ creation, she stated: 7
“(Codius) is going to really reduce the barriers to entry for creating financial derivative products, and it’s going to allow more people to hedge more complicated situations where there’s not enough people right now to make the market worthwhile to create the asset and have it verified.”
This quote is extraordinary. Not only is she talking about Codius being used for hedging and other derivative products, she is talking about the fact that a low-cost, automated alternative to having an individual or central authority enforce a contract may create entire new markets of derivative products.
Why is this extraordinary?
The current size of the derivatives market is even bigger than ForEx. Most experts put the derivatives market somewhere between 542 trillion and 1,200 trillion. 8 9 Now layer onto that number a possible increase in size due to new markets and derivatives products that may be possible using Codius.
Something tells me that developers with Codius experience might encounter demand for their skills at some point in the very near future.
It is an extraordinary vision that Ripple architected and built from the ground up, when you think of Codius and ILP working together to connect all the various ledgers. Codius is open-source and available for anybody build on; there are no limitations to the new applications, smart contracts, and financial products that can be created on the Codius platform. Enjoy the show from the sidelines, or better yet, chose to play an active role in the Codius community of developers.
Build unstoppable applications
Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.
These apps run on a custom built blockchain, an enormously powerful shared global infrastructure that can move value around and represent the ownership of property.
This enables developers to create markets, store registries of debts or promises, move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past (like a will or a futures contract) and many other things that have not been invented yet, all without a middleman or counterparty risk.
The project was bootstrapped via an ether presale in August 2014 by fans all around the world. It is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, a Swiss non-profit, with contributions from great minds across the globe.
On traditional server architectures, every application has to set up its own servers that run their own code in isolated silos, making sharing of data hard. If a single app is compromised or goes offline, many users and other apps are affected.
On a blockchain, anyone can set up a node that replicates the necessary data for all nodes to reach an agreement and be compensated by users and app developers. This allows user data to remain private and apps to be decentralized like the Internet was supposed to work.
Smart money, smart wallet
The Ethereum Wallet is a gateway to decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain. It allows you to hold and secure ether and other crypto-assets built on Ethereum, as well as write, deploy and use smart contracts.
Learn Solidity, a new language for smart contracts
Design and issue your own cryptocurrency
Create a tradeable digital token that can be used as a currency, a representation of an asset, a virtual share, a proof of membership or anything at all. These tokens use a standard coin API so your contract will be automatically compatible with any wallet, other contract or exchange also using this standard.
The total amount of tokens in circulation can be set to a simple fixed amount or fluctuate based on any programmed ruleset.
Kickstart a project with a trustless crowdsale
Do you already have ideas that you want to develop on Ethereum? Maybe you need help and some funds to bring them to life, but who would lend money to someone they don’t trust?
Using Ethereum, you can create a contract that will hold a contributor’s money until any given date or goal is reached. Depending on the outcome, the funds will either be released to the project owners or safely returned back to the contributors. All of this is possible without requiring a centralized arbitrator, clearinghouse or having to trust anyone.
You can even use the token you created earlier to keep track of the distribution of rewards.
Create a democratic autonomous organization
Now that you have developed your idea and secured funds, what’s next? You have to hire managers, find a trustworthy CFO to handle the accounts, run board meetings and do a bunch of paperwork.
Or you can simply leave all that to an Ethereum contract. It will collect proposals from your backers and submit them through a completely transparent voting process.
One of the many advantages of having a robot run your organization is that it is immune to any outside influence as it’s guaranteed to execute only what it was programmed to. And because the Ethereum network is decentralized, you’ll be able to provide services with a 100% uptime guarantee.
Build a new kind of decentralized application
Now it’s your turn: start building what you dream of creating in Ethereum! Could your business be enhanced by operating on a cryptographically secure, decentralized, tamper-proof network?
Check out the many great projects* already being built on Ethereum. And since you’ll be among the first developers in the world that are able to program decentralized applications, some of them might need your help.
*The above list is maintained by an independent party and the Foundation does not endorse its content or any particular project