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Cryptocurrencies are almost always built on top of a distributed public ledger called the Blockchain. This ledger is a core part of crypto’s architecture. It is designed to maintain that the network stays decentralized, that is not controlled by any one central party. Before getting into what the Blockchain is, it would be beneficial to start with how we got here in the first place. The Blockchain is – at a most basic level – a simple and powerful solution to a famous problem in Computer Science. The Byzantine General Problem (BGP) Imagine it’s the year 500 and you’re a General serving in the army of the Byzantine Empire. You command a division of the army and there are more Generals like you, each commanding their own division. ...
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Eth ereum is like a global computer Ethereum is a platform to build decentralized applications. One of the best things about the Blockchain is that it took out intermediaries and middlemen, allowing anyone to verify a transaction between two parties without requiring third parties. The Bitcoin Blockchain does this for transactions of bitcoin between two wallets using cryptographic digital signatures. But what if we wanted to use the Blockchain for other applications besides transferring money? Or what if we wanted to include more rules and logic with applications involving money? For these use cases, Ethereum was built. Smart Contracts A smart contract can be thought of more easily as a digital self-executing contract. Applications can be programmed such that if certain conditions are met, a certain end result will happen. ...