Jul 122017
 
Steven Heap/123RF By Will Nicol — Posted on July 4, 2017 6:30 am If you follow tech or financial news, you’ve probably seen the name “Ethereum” popping up over the last couple years, often in connection with bitcoin. Ethereum is a rising star in the world of cryptocurrencies, entirely digital forms of currency that grew in popularity after the creation of bitcoin by a person or group calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Demand for Ethereum is so high that it may even be driving up the price of graphics cards, as miners try to generate as much currency as they can. What is Ethereum exactly, and what does it mean for the future of cryptocurrency (and maybe society)? Here’s the rundown. To start — what is a cryptocurrency? People often refer to Ethereum as a cryptocurrency, but that isn’t precisely true. It is a platform that allows individuals to conduct transactions and draw up contracts, using a currency called “ether.” To understand what distinguishes Ethereum from a cryptocurrency like bitcoin, it helps to understand what a cryptocurrency is, as well as the concept of a blockchain. A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency created through encryption. A cryptocurrency has no physical form — like a banknote or coin — and it is not issued by a central bank or governmental authority. Units of cryptocurrency exist as data on the internet, and are created and managed through something called a blockchain. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger, shared amongst any number of computers. When transactions occur, they are recorded in blocks; in order for these blocks to go into the ledger, they must be validated by a certain number of computers on the blockchain network. Crucially, the ledger exists, in the same form, for everyone on the network. Anyone can can look at to see a complete history of every transaction that has occurred, and any changes would be visible to everyone. The individuals who validate the transactions — which they do by having their computers solve complex computational problems — are called miners. Mining is a surprisingly intense activity, as our guide explains, that requires powerful hardware and a lot of planning. As a reward for their help in validating blocks, miners are given rewards. This is typically a specific cryptocurrency; Bitcoin miners receive bitcoin, while Ethereum miners receive ether. When you send someone an amount of cryptocurrency, a digital signature is (more…)
Apr 282017
 
Greenfire supports blockchain business and technology. It is a belief held by Greenfire that business is growing into a blockchain technology based accountability system that will provide the move into a more sound money system. Aaryn Prettyman   Maybe you’ve heard the term “blockchain” but aren’t quite sure what it is. You’d be in good company. However you may want to start learning, as it just may be a technology platform that changes the ARM industry someday. In super-simple terms, blockchain is a decentralized way of keeping track of what is “true” (i.e. who owns what, who has signed what, who has paid what, etc.). This decentralized mechanism is called a “distributed ledger” – imagine a town checkbook, but instead of living in city hall, everyone in the town has a copy of it. Each time an entry is made it must be validated by everyone with a copy, and then everyone’s copy is updated. Each update is a new “block” in the “chain,” and each block needs all the other blocks to form the whole picture. The result is said to be a highly secure, transparent, interdependent chain.  Today, most information is tracked in major centralized databases owned by one company (or government) or another. As we know, these databases are often vulnerable to hackers, they are not at all transparent, and they can be difficult to get corrected when they are wrong. This has created a lack of trust in our systems, and makes it frustrating to do business. Blockchain was first used to manage bitcoin, the new kind of electronic currency that pretty much operates on the fringe. But many are now experimenting with a wide range of other, more mainstream uses. One example is that the State of Arizona has just passed a bill giving legal status to smart contracts and blockchain based signatures. Here’s what the bill says, "A signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature. A record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record. Smart contracts may exist in commerce. A contract relating to a transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because that contract contains a smart contract term. For the purposes of this section: “Blockchain technology” means distributed ledger technology that uses (more…)
Dec 162016
 
¿Qué es Ethereum? Ethereum, es una criptomoneda y una plataforma blockchain que ofrece una máquina virtual descentralizada para contratos inteligentes.Una computadora mundial “It is very possible that … one machine would suffice to solve all the problems … of the whole [world]” – Sir Charles Darwin, 1946 Ethereum, es una plataforma de servicios ”smart contracts”, programas y protocolos en forma de contrato, que funcionan automáticamente. Como son programados, no tienen ninguna posibilidad de cortes en el sistema, censuras, fraudes o interferencias de terceras partes. ¿Smart qué? El término fue acuñado por el criptógrafo y jurista Nick Szabo, allá por 1996 pero no ha sido hasta hace pocos años cuando se han podido materializar gracias a tecnologías recientes como la ”blockchain” (“cadena de bloques”). Los ”smart contracts”, son scripts escritos con lenguajes de programación capaces de ejecutarse y hacerse cumplir por sí solos de manera autónoma sin intermediarios y sin posibilidad de censura. Pueden ser creados por una persona física, jurídica o por otro programa informático y reciben esas características gracias a existir sobre un sistema descentralizado como la ”blockchain” en la que miles de equipos alrededor del mundo ejecutan los nodos que procesan y verifican las transacciones lo que evita que exista alguna entidad (empresa o gobierno) que pueda actuar sobre ellas.En resumen, los contratos inteligentes permiten a desconocidos comerciar o automatizar cualquier tipo de relación que se pueda expresar en un contrato tradicional, a través de internet sin la necesidad de una autoridad o intermediario. Automatizar transacciones simples Un pequeño ejemplo con apuestas: Alicia y Bob se apuestan 500€ por quien ganará un partido deportivo. Ambos, mandarían el equivalente en criptomonedas a una dirección controlada por el contrato inteligente. Cuando el juego haya terminado el contrato podría verificar vía API el resultado y depositaría el total en la cuenta del ganador. Por ser programas informáticos, sería trivial añadir mayor complejidad como posibilidades y estadísticas a la apuesta. Hay servicios que procesan este tipo de transacciones, pero todas cobran una comisión. La diferencia es que los contratos inteligentes hacen todo esto de manera descentralizada, accesible para todos al menor coste posible, en el caso de ethereum el precio se llama “gas”, pequeñas partes de ether que pasan a los mineros que verifican las transacciones. Compras online Un ejemplo cotidiano pueden ser las compras online. Si realizas una orden de compra podrías tener un contrato entre la tienda online, una empresa de mensajería y tú, este, controlaría el proceso y ejecutaría cada pago en el momento acordado que podría ser la (more…)