What is Ethereum?

Ethereum – what is it? This article just wants to explain beginners the motivation behind Ethereum.

To understand Ethereum, we take a long time to look at the Internet. Especially here in Germany is the association “glass man”.

Our personal and financial data and even our passwords are “in the cloud” – which is a flowery description for server farms of big companies, such as Facebook, Google or Amazon.

Not that I am misunderstood: this structure of the Internet is not only bad. Especially the centralized hosting services make it possible for many people and small businesses to host websites in good quality.

But with all that comfort and stability comes a vulnerability. There were already enough examples that unauthorized third parties can gain access to our data, or the providers of the hosting services must be given more authority over their own data than one is fond of.

Finally, it is also questionable whether the classic client-server model is a useful architecture in times of the Internet of Things. It is desirable, as the criticism on the part of the data protectionists at Amazon Echo shows, in any case not.

The head behind the Apache Web Server, Brian Behlendorf, has therefore found drastic words: According to him, the centralization of the Internet on huge server farms is the origin of the Internet. The Internet, according to Behlendorf, was originally conceived as decentralized. The goal of decentralization is to be reached again using various tools such as the blockchain.

As the mention of blockchain suggests, we can strike the bow to Ethereum here. While Bitcoin wants to shake up the financial system, Ethereum wants to use the blockchain technology to make middle-term internet unnecessary. With Ethereum, there will be no longer any giant giants who host data or monitor the fulfillment of contracts.

Ethereum – thanks to intelligent contracts a decentralized computer

Above all, Ethereum would like to become a kind of “decentralized computer” with which the existing client-server model is to be decentralized.

In many blockcahins like Bitcoin or Ethereum, servers and clouds are replaced by thousands of so-called “nodes”, which are set up by volunteers. Classic, i. In the case of Bitcoin, they play an important role in the maintenance of the payment network: they check and store each block in the blockchain and also check the individual transactions which are processed by the Ethereum’s own digital currency Ether. In the world of Ethereum one speaks here less of a digital currency, but rather of “gas” or fuel which is needed for the maintenance of the network.

In the case of Ethereum, there are so-called “smartcontracts”, which make a decentralized computer from this network. Smartcontracts, as the name implies, are intelligent contracts, i. Small programs that run on the Ethereum network and can, for example, regulate transaction conditions of Ethereum. The nodes are, therefore, responsible for the processing of these contracts.

Using these Smart Contracts, the development of so-called DApps is possible – decentralized applications, which are not only open source, but can be checked for the correct function during the runtime. Instead of a glass person, the transparent, transparent program would be created.

With these DApps, the vision behind Ethereum can be explained as follows: since each can operate a node, each has the same functionality and can thus offer services on the infrastructure.

Ethereum – the DApp-Store of the future

When we look at an App Store today, we can buy a plethora of apps from action games to time management systems. These applications trust the App Store in terms of payment management so that it is held by third parties.

Finally, the developers of the apps are also dependent on the favor of the App Store, various examples, for example, the Apple Store have shown that you can also be removed from the store here. Similarly, the choice of the end user depends on third parties such as Google or Apple. And finally, in the case of Webapps, see Google Docs or Evernote, that the generated content ultimately lies in the hands of third parties.

With Ethereum the data would again be in their own hands. Developers of DApps could offer these independently of an App Store provider freely, one would not rely on the preselection of the DApp selection and the control over their own data would be in their own hands.

The idea is simply that there is no entity that has control over your notes or other documents. Not simply by law, but also by code, according to the vision, only the owner of these notes can control, change or delete them.

This means that the control of your own data, which used to be normal, is compatible with the simple, global manageability that we find important today: every time you change your own files, add or delete them, Authorized change to each node.

If this change did not appeal to individual nodes, this would not be noticeable, since these out-of-the-row dancers would either leave the network (since they had created their own version of the blockchain) or they would adapt.

The introduction of the Internet of Things was introduced. The internet of things will require meaningful communication between the individual devices, which is often referred to as machine-to-machine communication. This can be achieved very well via Ethereum using the Smart Contracts. With slock.it, a company from Germany, there is a company that is currently developing something in the area of ​​Internet of Things.

Of course it is still a long way and whether the world of the DApps on Ethereum ever will be as far as the centralized world around Google etc. is still not to say. Nevertheless, it is already worthwhile to look at what has been and will be realized at Ethereum.