Ethereum Is Coding’s New Wild West
“How can Ethereum be a cryptocurrency and a computer at the same time? Instead of running on a laptop or a server, it runs on thousands of individual computers at once, all kept in sync with blockchain technology. In its simplest form, a blockchain is an ordered list of items upon which all of these computers agree. On Ethereum, that list is made up of programmable computer states (think ones and zeros). Anyone can pay currency (Ether, not dollars) to run their code on—and thus change—the state of the computer. Miners enter their machines into a random mathematical race to win the chance to choose which code will run next (i.e., to add the next block of ones and zeroes to the list) and collect the associated fees.
This system is called the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), or colloquially, the ‘world computer.’ Code is run publicly, but users are pseudonymous. It’s like Amazon Web Services, except instead of Amazon as the seller and users as the buyer, users can play either role. No individual controls the system. That makes Ethereum something genuinely new—something unprecedented.”