Five questions from a block chain novice related to using Ethereum

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Five questions from a block chain novice related to using Ethereum
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1) Say I went and made a wallet and purchased some Ether on a platform like Coinbase...what are some simple ways I can actually use the cryptocurrency? I know I can send it to other people's wallets like Bitcoin, but what are a few other introductory ways I could use it? I want to familiarize myself with this.

2) What is the most simple use of a smart contract in Ethereum and what is required for me to enact one? Is there a simple/consumer-level example that I could try out? If so, how can I do that? I would be open to trying a few.

3) I understand block chain technology as a basic concept and how Ethereum or EOS are smart contract platforms, but I'm confused about DApps. Several sub-questions:

a) In a non-technical way, how exactly does a Dapp deploy or get used on a specific base block chain like Ethereum? 

b) Why don't all the DApps that run on Ethereum use Ether as a currency? I see something like Golem has it's own token, but CryptoKitties does not - why is that the case? Why would some DApp choose to use its own token while another DApp chooses not to?

c) What is the real difference between a Dapp running on Ethereum with it's own token (say Storj) and a fully separate project like Filecoin? I get that Filecoin has it's own blockchain, but the difference beyond that confuses me. What's the benefit of one approach vs. the other?

4) Why do people use one smart contracts platform vs. another?

5) Is there a relationship in price between Ether and Ethereum-based tokens or are they completely different assets?

Expert Answers

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Hi Ben. Let me try to answer all your questions (adding each answer separately because of word count limit)
1. Purchases: for instance, BG itself accepts cryptos as a means of payment for its annual payment plans.
You can use it for purchasing games and stuff on Xbox store as well!
investment : many people use cryptos as a means of investment since its value fluctuates much like the stocks in a stock market. You can purchase and hold cryptos on low prices and sell when they rise considerably high. CAUTION: always perform due diligence background check, technical analysis before investing.

2, You should check out https://remix.ethereum.org/ to test and run smart contract examples on the available testnet. You will find some examples already there. You can also check out cryptozombies for a walk through example of how to write a simple smart contract. The example is based on generating zombie characters (non-fungible tokens) much like cryptokitties.
As an example, you could conduct funding for your startup by developing a smart contract that provides tokens of ownership in your company. You can make it very simple where ONLY owner can generate or burn tokens

3/ 4. It has to do with your requirements (speed and viability), experience as a developer (wanting to learn a new language or not), transaction costs, etc.
For instance, in Ethereum you need to learn solidity to code smart contracts whereas, in Hyperledger Fabric you can develop smart contracts using Javascript.

5. They may not be directly linked but the underlying platform’s price fluctuations does impact the prices of the ether based tokens. Think of it like this. If a cattle farm produces milk at $50 a gallon, then every company that derives its products from that farm’s milk, would be impacted if the price of the milk goes up or down (their costs, profit margins, etc). Ethereum may not impact profit margins but sharp shocks or decline in the price of ether would adversely impact the overlaying platforms and their tokens.

The fluctuations in price of any asset, currency or cryptos, usually reflect the perception of investors for the particular asset, in this case ether. If an investor loses confidence, or think that platform is not viable, they would take their money out, causing prices to drop. Therefore, others seeking to develop on that platform would be hesitant and would look for alternatives to work on. Those already existing on the platform would experience the repercussions of the price fall.

1. Here are two ways you can use it:
Purchases: for instance, blockgeeks itself accepts cryptos as a means of payment for its annual payment plans.
You can use it for purchasing games and stuff on Xbox store as well!
investment instrument: many people use cryptos as a means of investment since its value fluctuates much like the stocks in a stock market. You can purchase and hold cryptos on low prices and sell when they rise considerably high. Word of caution, always perform due diligence (background check for altcoins, technical analysis) before investing.

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