What are smart contracts?

  • ethereumEthereum$1,227.276.37%
  • cardanoCardano$0.3220674.02%
  • eosEOS$2.781.04%

A smart contract is a type of agreement that is run as computer code on a blockchain. They are used as an instrument to help in the automated, middle-man free exchange of money, shares, property and anything else of value. The first blockchain based smart contract platform, named Ethereum, was developed by Vitalik Buterin and went live in 2015. Newer smart contract platforms that have launched in recent years have included EOS, Cardano and Codius.

Smart Contract image courtesy of codebrahma.com

For a more detailed look into smart contracts and their applications, visit the BlockGeeks.com Guide to Smart Contracts.

What is an ERC-20 Token

Simply Explained examines ERC20 Tokens

Smart contracts are used to create ERC-20 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain. A common analogy used to describe the process of using a smart contract to create an ERC-20 token is a vending machine. In a traditional vending machine you deposit money, select your item and the item is released by the machine. For an ERC-20 token Ether is deposited, a smart contract is executed and an ERC-20 token is issued to the requester. ERC-20 tokens are often used in the creation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) to raise funds for a new project.

What are are distributed applications (DApps)

Ethereum was the first popular Smart Contracts/DApp platform

Multiple smart contracts can be combined to build a more complex set of logic, creating a decentralized, distributed application (DAapp). These distributed applications are not controlled by a central authority and are thus resilient to censorship.

One real world example of a DApps is the popular CryptoKitties online game that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. This was one of the first real-world instances of a collectible digital asset. Decentralized exchanges are yet another exciting potential use case for DApps.

What is Cardano?

Cardano Smart Contracts platform is PoS based

Cardano is a decentralized public blockchain and cryptocurrency project and is fully open source. Cardano is developing a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any protocol previously developed. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach. The development team consists of a large global collective of expert engineers and researchers

What is EOS?

EOS is a powerful platform for DApps, but has had a rocky launch of its native token

EOS is software that introduces a blockchain architecture designed to enable vertical and horizontal scaling of decentralized applications. This is achieved through an operating system-like construct upon which applications can be built. The software provides accounts, authentication, databases, asynchronous communication and the scheduling of applications across multiple CPU cores and/or clusters. The resulting technology is a blockchain architecture that has the potential to scale to millions of transactions per second, eliminates user fees and allows for quick and easy deployment of decentralized applications. For more information, please read the EOS.IO Technical White Paper.

What is Codius?

Codius smart contracts platform runs on the XRP ledger

Codius is a smart contracts platform, currently in beta, that supports the XRP interledger protocol. An advantage to Codius over the Ethereum platform is that it allows for programming of smart contracts in a variety of modern programming languages (java, .net, python) rather than forcing developers to learn the Solidity language used by Ethereum.

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