Roles Of Ethereum Network Participants
Several simple steps should be performed to take part in crypto projects. You should get familiar with participation rules, choose desired functionality, select reliable software, and join the process. Of course, these actions are relevant when it comes to minor involvement in the processes of blockchain support.
In case of Ethereum this means that you will choose a wallet, join the network and probably try to mine some blocks. However, there are many alternative options for more experienced users. Their general properties were briefly explained in previous articles.
- Proper hardware;
- Proper software;
- Special functionality requirements.
As far as hardware is concerned, there's nothing complicated about it. You can use any available device, and it'll be a constant in our formula. Special cases when you create your own mining farm are not considered. Similarly with software. Different crypto wallets are simply tools that help reach a goal. You select one in accordance with your plans.
Now let’s consider special functionality requirements in the Ethereum network.
Ethereum common participation variety
The role system in the Ethereum network is much more complex than in Bitcoin. In Bitcoin, all participants are represented as addresses and have equal rights. But Ethereum is different. As for addressing, the main difference here is that some addresses do not belong to people. They are rather containers for small blockchain-based programs — smart contracts.
This is due to a special account system used in Ethereum. Each address can either belong to a participant or define an executable smart contract. In the first case, it is processed in the same way as in Bitcoin: you can send ethers to the address or, if you are the owner, manage all assets on your account. In the second case, the contract will be executed as soon as it is triggered by a transaction and will perform exactly what it was programmed for.
Both cases have several common fields apart from differences. Read more about it in our article that explains smart contracts and the Ethereum Virtual Machine.
There are two more interesting details:
- Smart contracts can be erased from blockchain. They are not as immutable as user-owned accounts.
- Smart contracts can automatically create another smart contracts if they are programmed to do this.
Special functions in Ethereum
In contradiction to a simple and functionally-limited programming language used in Bitcoin, Ethereum has the complex Virtual Machine. The EVM does not only allow creating complex programs. Due to its open-source nature, it allows users to write their own languages to interact with the Ethereum blockchain.
Such an approach has several consequences but only one of them is of interest to us for now. Smart contracts are complex, which makes them something more than just a digital agreement. Two bright examples of such functionality are The DAO and CryptoKitties. The key moment for all Ethereum-based projects is the opportunity to create a complex structure. Such structures can be endowed with completely different functionality. Unfortunately, some of them can even be dangerous for the Ethereum community, as it happened with The DAO.
As we can see, the Ethereum environment is more developed compared to Bitcoin. Flexible programming components, a comlex accounts structure, and an open source approach — all of these are undoubted advantages of Ethereum. At the same time, the development team is working on further improvements, and this fact is even more inspiring to ordinary users.