Bitcoin’s ledger uses a model called UTXO, which stands for Unspent Transaction Output. What that means is that every transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain is a reference to one that came before, and anything unspent from the previous transaction (not sent to a new recipient) is sent back to the sender as change. The Bitcoin blockchain doesn’t track the balance of an account, it just tracks transactions, and builds new transactions from old ones.
Ethereum introduced the world to the idea of Smart Contracts, which are blocks of code that are executed on the blockchain in a distributed manner. Smart Contracts are run on every Ethereum node and the results verified by the network, which makes it possible to execute code in a distributed and trustless manner. Anyone can join the Ethereum network and run a node, and participate in the validation of the Smart Contracts that get executed.
NEM is one of the oldest cryptocurrencies, started back in 2014, and one of the most valuable, with a market cap over $15 billion, but it’s also one of the least talked about. That may stem from its origins in Japan, but over the last few years it has expanded its reach to Asia, Europe, and beyond by forming partnerships with major corporations around the world to use the private version of the NEM blockchain.
The Limits of Ethereum Smart Contracts Smart contracts, introduced to the world by Ethereum, allow for decentralized applications (dApps) that work on a blockchain. What that means is that everyone can read the code, know when it is being executed, and to inspect the results. You don’t have to trust the entity running the code because, in essence, the code is run everywhere, on every node in the blockchain, at the same time.
Stellar was born in 2014 as an offshoot of Ripple because Jed McCaleb, the co-founder, had philosophical differences with the rest of the Ripple board. While Ripple is focused on providing solutions to banks, Stellar aims to help facilitate payments between people. While they work in a similar fashion, Stellar is sort of like a “bottom-up” approach compard to Ripple’s “top-down”. Stellar Lumens are the currency used by the Stellar network, and when the network was started 100 billion Lumens (XLM) were created.
ICOs have started following a pretty standard script in how they introduce themselves to the crypto-community: Announcement on Bitcoin Talk offering bounties for shilling Advertisements on Coinmarketcap.com that make browsers die Requisite witepaper that no one reads Slick website featuring glossy images of the giant team The poing of all of this is, of course, to raise a lot of money when the ICO starts. This is dramatically different than the way a “normal” startup works - build a minimum viable product, get some customers, find a Venture Captialist to fuel your grown.
Introduction There’s been a lot of news this year about companies raising hundreds of millions of dollars by having an Initial Coin Offering, called an ICO. If you’re not familiar with an ICO, it can sound bizarre, or even like a scam (and some are). Here’s the basics of what you need to know. The Rationale Let’s say you’re a startup in the blockchain or cryptocurrency space. You think you’ve got a great idea, but you’re going to need some captial to support you while you develop your idea.