Mastering Ethereum — What is Ethereum ? [Chapter 1]

Topics covered in this chapter :

  1. Introduction
  2. Components of Blockchain
  3. The Birth of Ethereum
  4. Ethereum’s Four Stages of Development
  5. Ethereum : A General Purpose Blockchain
  6. Ethereum’s Components
  7. Ethereum and Turing Completeness
  8. From General Purpose Blockchains to Decentralized Applications (DApps)
  9. The Third Age of the Internet
  10. Ethereum’s Development Culture
  11. Why Learn Ethereum?
  12. What This Book Will Teach You

Introduction

Components of Blockchain

  1. A peer-to-peer (P2P) Network.
  2. Messages.
  3. A set of consensus rules.
  4. A state machine that processes transactions according to the consensus rules.
  5. A chain of cryptographically secured blocks that acts as a journal (ledger as to say).
  6. A consensus algorithm that decentralizes control over the blockchain.
  7. A Game — Some kind of incentive program like giving some eth to economically secure the state machine in an open environment. This is what essentially is called mining(e.g., proof-of-work costs plus block rewards).
  8. One or more open source software implementations of the above (“clients”).

The Birth of Ethereum

Ethereum’s Four Stages of Development

Ethereum : A General Purpose Blockchain

Ethereum’s Components

  1. P2P Network : This network is addressable on TCP Port 30303 and runs a protocol called ÐΞVp2p.
  2. Consensus Rules : Ethereum’s consensus rules are defined in the reference specification, the Yellow Paper.
  3. Transactions : Ethereum transactions are network messages that include (among other things) a sender, recipient, value, and data payload.
  4. State Machine : Ethereum state transitions are processed by the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), a stack-based virtual machine that executes bytecode (machine-language instructions). EVM programs, called “smart contracts,” are written in high-level languages (e.g., Solidity) and compiled to bytecode for execution on the EVM.
  5. Data Structures : Ethereum’s state is stored locally on each node as a database (usually Google’s LevelDB), which contains the transactions and system state in a serialized hashed data structure called a Merkle Patricia Tree.
  6. Consensus Algorithm : Ethereum uses Bitcoin’s consensus model, Nakamoto Consensus, which uses sequential single-signature blocks, weighted in importance by PoW (Proof of Work) to determine the longest chain.
  7. Economic Security : Ethereum currently uses a PoW (Proof of Work) algorithm called Ethash, but this will eventually be dropped with the move to PoS (Proof of Stake) at some point in the future.
  8. Clients : Ethereum has several interoperable implementations of the client software, the most prominent of which are Go-Ethereum (Geth) and Parity.

Ethereum and Turing Completeness

From General Purpose Blockchains to Decentralized Applications (DApps)

  • A decentralized (P2P) storage protocol and platform
  • A decentralized (P2P) messaging protocol and platform

The Third Age of the Internet

Ethereum’s Development Culture

Why Learn Ethereum?

What This Book Will Teach You

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