Once considered unrealistic moon math, zero-knowledge proofs, may hold the answer to some of the most pressing blockchain questions, like how will they scale and what about privacy? At the same time the zero-knowledge proofs are extremely ill-understood and inaccessible to most people. The aim is to develop an intuition for them, explain in simple terms how they can be used in the context of blockchains, and get you excited about their seemingly endless utility.
Blockchains solve the problem of double-spending and thereby allows financial ledgers to be distributed among peers who maintain the invariants collectively without resorting to entrusting a centralized entity with the ledger. At the same time technical limitations still remain, hindering greater adoption of the technology. We identify the biggest unsolved challenges and what is being done to crack the nut. 🥜
For deep understanding it helps to get your hands dirty. Armed with the whitepaper, the yellow paper and the source code for the Go implementation we dive into the inner workings of Ethereum. In this Saturday long read, we cover among other things the state model, the peer-to-peer network, the EVM and the consensus algorithm. Lastly we discuss the Ethereum ice-age and why it exists. So prepare yourself a nice cup of coffee ☕️ and jump in!
Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, was proposed by Vitalik Buterin in 2013. Its intended purpose was to provide a blockchain with a Turing-complete programming language allowing users to extend its functionality by uploading custom code. The code could be used to create digital assets to represent custom currencies and financial instruments, the ownership of an underlying physical device, non-fungible assets such as domain names, as well as more complex applications involving having digital assets being directly controlled by a piece of code implementing arbitrary rules or even blockchain-based decentralized autonomous organizations.