The Ethereum Ecosystem
IF BITCOIN IS THE SUN, ETHEREUM IS LIKE JUPITER OR SATURN, WITH ITS OWN MINI-SOLAR SYSTEM OF WORLDS. It is a universe unto itself, with an evolving ecosystem of altcoins, called Đapps... decentralized applications no less, based on blockchain technology, and opening up untold possibility for the atomization of work and the economy. Ethereum extends the distributed ledger concept of Bitcoin one step further and envisages a global supercomputer which could be used for ride-sharing apps, prediction markets, decentralized social media platforms, and the like.
With Ethereum you can jump from app to app, website to website, without needing to sign in, as long as you are connected to the 'chain. You could visit a music site like UJO Music
, then listen to songs for a small sum of ETH (Ξ). There are plenty of good artists on UJO Music, among them Jogreg.eth
, cyberpunk with a dubstep edge. If you need funds to pay for their album, head over to ETHLend
, and take out a peer-to-peer loan without the need for divulging your particulars.
Says the Ethereum blog: "Technologies like Swarm could serve as the underlying static hosting infrastructure, removing the need to highly distribute and cache specific content. Because “decentralized dropbox” has been discussed with such frequency, expect HTTP-like bindings or services to be built atop this type of blob storage..."
THE SMART contract
is the work-horse of the Ethereum blockchain. This contract, called a decentralized app or Đapp. When smart contracts call on miners to perform some work, they need to pay for it with "gas". The transaction costs equals the gas price times the amount of work to be performed up to the designated gas limit. As of November 2018, a good price for gas was 2-5 Gwei (one GWei being equal to one "giga wei"... or 0.000000001Ξ. 1GWEI = 0.01 Microether.)
For standard transactions, the gas limit is set to 21,000. To see all the pending transaction, click here
. There are a heap of transactions paying around 0.111ETH, but they don't linger longer than 21 days. Increase the gas up to 0.112ETH, and the waiting time drops dramatically.
Transactions contain a nonce
, a consecutive number that is added to each transaction. Generally, the network tries to execute transactions in a consecutive order.
ORACLES ARE the gateways between the Ethereum network and the outside world. To ensure that the pizza you ordered was actually delivered, for example, you need some offchain validation. Since smart contracts don't exist outside of Ethereum, there needs to be a go-between. The pizza could fitted with a tag using XYZ, a geographical oracle employing a decentralized GPS system. Chainlink, a current new kid on the block, is designed to integrate with any blockchain, not just Ethereum. Meanwhile, services like Oraclize
can confirm that your Keybase identity is, indeed, you. Aragon courts are another kind of oracle.
ETHEREUM BROWSERS act as the interface between smart contracts and the general Internet.
They allow you to remain constantly logged in (even to a site you have never visited before!) without having to remember an array of passwords (your private key is your password, and potentially, your passport!
) Browsers enable one to exchange Bitcoin for Ethereum, or to contribute to ICOs. The Ethereum Foundation is developing the Mist Browser
, which it hopes will revolutionize the way we interact with the web. In the meantime, you can also run on Status
, or MetaMask on Chrome.
If you are logged into MetaMask, you can search for ipfs properties
and Ethereum Naming System (ENS) domains on Almonit
, or even venture into the Dark Net.
ETHEREUM OFFERS anyone the opportunity to create their own private currencies or tokens, which could act as frequent flyer points, or voting rights in an anarchic community, or the deeds to a virtual home.
A token, for example TIME, has a contract address (in this case, 0x6531f133...) showing all of its balances and token holders. The last time I checked
, TIME had 2901 token holders, one of them me!
One type of token, non fungible tokens or NFTs have been gaining in popularity, and can represent realworld objects like artworks and baseball skins.
Some of these projects might transition to their own private blockchains in due course!
: website here
If like me you have ever wanted to start your own company, Aragon could help you. If you want to set up your own virtual nation, Aragon could cover some of your judicial issues. It could even feature a decentralized court. Link to your Keybase identity
, which can be converted into a human-friendly name thanks to the Ethereum Name Service
. ... Aragon can be downloaded on to Windows. One idea to introduce democracy to Ethereum in general is Carbon Votes
. The Carbon Vote was initiated in the great schism of 2016, the DAO Hard Fork... (for more details about Aragon,
: website here
Real estate blockchain platform, offering the possibility of P2P renting, and the like. You will be able to buy tokens of individual properties, once their DEX is set up (one token will equal one square millimeter of a property.)
: REP: website here
Prediction markets are one of the most exciting applications of smart contracts. Apps are currently available for Windows, MacOS and Linux users, and there is a website run on the ipfs. Imagine if Climate "sceptics" had to put their money where their mouth was? As of October 2018, it was possible to bet on the likelihood of Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed as Supreme Court Justice of the United States. REP is currently traded on Poloniex and other exchanges... (for more details about Augur,
Basic Attention Token
Brave is both an ad-blocker and an attempt to disrupt the online advertising industry. There will be 1.5 billion tokens produced; currently, 1 ETH=6400BAT. If you download and use a browser called Brave (once it becomes available), you can earn BAT just to view ads made by companies who will deploy them to earn your attention. Alternatively, you can tip the website in BAT, and reward them for their content.
: website here
: BHT: STU
Aims to enable students to find relevant, career-enhancing jobs to finance their study.
: TIME: website here
As Marx understood, labour is one of the most stable and resilient commodities in the economy. Based in Sydney, Australia, ChronoBank aims to establish a decentralized jobs market powered by smart contracts. As of April 2020, a suite of products were online and operational. PaymentX is an automated cryptocurrency payment solution for business. LaborX
is a decentralized jobs marketplace. Meanwhile, Time tokens can receive a portion of transaction fees. They can be purchased on HitBTC
, as well as Chronobank's own TimeX exchange
, built on Plasma technology. TimeX is the first exchange I know about featuring an Australian dollar stablecoin.
: DAY: website here
Even more so than labour, time is the ultimate resource. There are 3333 TimeMints in each DAY. If you want a smart contract to come into force at a particular time in the future, you need to purchase a token. Let's say you need to make weekly rent payments for your lodgings on Atlant; Chronologic could power the timing.
: CVL: website here
As a former journalist, this project appeals to me. I will definitely pick up some tokens when they become available after September 2018.
: COV: website here
Will allow members to subscribe to the strategies of professional investors in the crypto sphere. The Covesting Exchange is hoped to be listed in December 2017.
: Stablecoin .
A stablecoin tied to the American dollar, similar to Tether.
: MANA: website here
One of the most exciting opportunities offered by Ethereum is the creation of virtual worlds accessible using Virtual Reality (VR) instruments. Decentraland is one such metatopia, with its own parliament and declaration of independence. In this land your Ethereum wallet is your passport, and if you obtain MANA (the local currency) you can buy LAND (as of December 2020, already 90,000 properties had been purchased.)
As in Minecraft, it is possible to teleport to precise coordinates, although I often prefer to walk. While the streets are often empty, they sometimes have live parties, complete with DJs and the like... (for more details about Decentraland,
: DNT: website here
Envisioned as a network of marketplaces and other "districts", based on the Ethlance model. Districts are self-governing entities on the aforementioned Aragon Network, and buying DNT will give you voting rights. In fact, 600 million tokens have been distributed to participants in the ICO.
Ethereum Name Service
: ENS: website here
Not technically a token, but an attempt to provide human-readable names to the long hexadecimal strings which comprise Ethereum addresses. Names can also resolve to websites on the ipfs, or even the Dark Net
. Actually, creating readable names for .TOR sites might be one of ENS's potential use cases, given past difficulties in this field. You can store your Twitter ID inside the name, as well as your name and other details.. It costs US$5 per year to be registered, but registered names can be traded on the ENS Bazaar in an auction system.
A foray into the predictions market, it aims to become the "Google of Customized Information Searching". It would seem that the accuracy of this tool would be dependant on its liquidity. Nonetheless, I have invested in it, and I hope to make money from it when it is up and running!
Futarchy is the goal here... the creation of organizations which run solely on the wisdom of the crowd...
: website here
Smart contracts that are legally enforceable.
Buy and sell idle computer performance on the Internet using this blockchain. Golem hopes to become the AirBNB of computer processing! Transactions are based on Ethereum. The crowdsale, held in November 2016, raised more than US$8 million
. It is now worth considerably more. Down the track, clay, stone and iron golems are planned. See Golem's Reddit here
Buy and sell idle computer performance on the Internet .
: LPT : website here
Have you noticed that ads on YouTube are getting more annoying these days? Facebook have been pressured to kill off livestreaming... Decentralized video encoding, with no censorship. If you have LPT, you can use it to broadcast video on the 'chain. Nodes will transcode your footage into the plethora of different formats that viewers use.
: website here
Personal data has been called the oil of the 21st century. Companies like Facebook and Google have grown rich on the information harvested from their users. Ocean aims to democratize this industry by becoming a decentralized market for data, by the people, for the people. Metadata is "data about data".
: : .
Will strive to combat Internet censorship around the world.
: POWR : website here
Like politics and the banking system, the electricity network is ripe for revolution. The population of Africa is expected to triple over the coming decades, and vast swathes of the continent live in the dark. Micro-grids, and the proliferation of solar panels on rooftops, bring power to the people; Power Ledger is a marketplace where this energy can be exchanged. Electricity producers ("prosumers") can sell their excess energy to their neighbors or energy providers, in return for Sparkz (in Australia, 1Sparkz = AUS$0.01). Prosumers are even able to save their power until peak-demand periods to maximize their profits. Another Power Ledger tool, Asset Germination Events, would empower communities to monetize their renewable energy assets like solar panels.
: PST: website here
Decentralized search engine, run by its users. Features it own advertising system, and pays users just to search (for more details about Presearch, click here
: RVN: website here
Aims to become a decentralized review site, to benefit not only consumers, but even gadgets in the IoT (refrigerators wanting to replace empty bottles of milk, and the like). In the early days, however, Revain will concentrate on companies which have held an ICO.
Each TenX token holder will receive a 0.5% payment from every transaction made on the system.
Aims to apply AI and the blockchain to online advertising, particularly banner and video ads. Advertisers pay for an action to be performed (such as signing up for a newsletter), eliminating clickfraud. Publishers can validate that such actions have indeed been performed, as all relevant data is recorded on the blockchain.
It is interesting to note that the Global Positioning System (GPS)that we all rely on is provided by the US Government. Several large states, such as Russia and China, have began creating their own alternatives. If you are not a large state, XYZ could provide you GPS that the government doesn't control.
: WTC: mobile site here
An interface between the blockchain
, and the IoT.
World Bit Bank
Imagine being able to navigate the Internet without having to sign in and out of sites all the time? uPort is a step in this direction: self-sovereign identities for the masses. Instead of having to remember multiple passwords for different websites, you could sign in with your own personal private key, stored on your mobile phone. Your identity would be linked to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. uPort identities can take many forms: a company, person, or even a thing, such as a file on the IPFS
. The mobile app features an encrypted messaging server (Chasqui),
DECENTRALIZED EXCHANGES, known as DEXs, are one of the great innovations of the Ethereum ecosystem. They remove the point of failure represented by traditional exchanges, which might be shut down, or abscond with all your coins! Ether must be entered into a smart contract for trades to take place.
: website here
A decentralized exchange which allows for the shorting of Ethereum using the aforementioned DAI. This platform could be used for hedging Ethereum in US dollars. Offers some advanced tools, like stop orders and margin trading.
: website here
This exchange forked off EtherDelta is 2018, following action by the US Securities and Exchange Commission against founder Zachary Coburn
. … One of the largest and most extensive DEXs out there. You need to transfer funds from the exchange to your wallet if you want to withdraw funds.
Once it is going, you will be able to buy BAT, TIME, etc. If you want to use it you need to unwrap your Ethers, and turn them into W-ETH
: website here
: website here
The concept is similar to Bancor, but this is decentralized. Users can exchange one token for another (say, ANT for REP) without having to go through Ξ. Unlike traditional exchanges, there is no orderbook. Instead, users contribute their own tokens to the liquidity pool, and earn a share of trading fees. In this process of "liquidity mining", assets can be moved from idle wallets into the DEX pool.
As of September 2020
liquidity was US$2 billion, with 7545 pairs available.
: website here
Estonia is not far behind.
RECOMMENDED WEBSITES & WEBLOGS
Aleph (Smart Contract Analytics)
Foundation (Buy & Sell Art NFTs)
Recommended Gas Cost
State of the dApps