In the latest episode of Jackson Palmer’s “Crypto Explained” series, he breaks down what exactly a smart contract is, companies that are using smart contracts today, and what makes smart contracts successful. The topic is truly demystified and Jackson keeps you up to date with the latest in news from around the digital currency ecosystem.
What Is a Smart Contract?
Whether you are new to Bitcoin or a seasoned veteran, you most likely have heard about the potential of smart contracts and how important they are to the development and scaling of some of the likes of Ethereum and others. But how do they work exactly?
Origin of Smart Contracts
Smart contracts date back to the mid 1990s, when Nick Szabo released an article titled (naturally) “Smart Contracts”. Since then many have worked tirelessly to perfect and bring mainstream the act of these digitalized agreements.
As Jackson explains, smart contracts are still in their early phases but are being used every day, in multisig wallets and in the funding of ICOs. Both parties that enter the agreement understand and are comfortable the code will verify the other’s performance, and execute based on the conditions of the agreement or X conditions.
When smart contracts go mainstream, it’s hoped they will drastically reduce the friction of all types of transactions in the global marketplace.
Blockchain Companies Using Smart Contracts
Jackson introduces the biggest players in the smart contract protocol world, and explains the differences between organizations such as Ethereum, EOS, Tezos, and Rootstock.
Ethereum, the most talked about and buzzworthy of the bunch, has created ERC-20 tokens — where anyone can create a new token by supplying a set amount of ether (ETH). By using Solidity, the Ethereum smart contract language, developers can pay “gas” to deploy Ethereum’s computing power and create these digital contracts.
Others platforms with fewer real-world use cases but loyal followings include EOS and Tezos. Both these claim to be more scalable and efficient than rival Ethereum.
EOS is trying to be the Amazon Web Service of blockchains, with more tools for developers. Tezos looks to establish formal verifiability. Formal verifiability is huge according to Jackson, as it would guarantee that any smart contract has no bugs and works exactly as expected.
What Successful Smart Contracts Look Like
So, all these companies trying to make smart contracts a reality, but what will the winner look like? Does there even need to be a winner?
In Jackson’s opinion, they must scale to handle Visa-level transaction volumes per second, be bug-free, and have an everyday use case to involve non technical users and promote adoption.
Overall, it’s a great breakdown of the current state of contracts and the big players in the smart contract ecosystem today. Check the video out and follow along in video review series for more educational content.
Who Is Jackson Palmer?
Jackson Palmer is well-known in the cryptocurrency world, mainly for creating Dogecoin in 2013. Based on an internet meme featuring a shiba-inu dog, DOGE was intended as a community-oriented money for people who didn’t want to take their blockchain too seriously. Around since 2013, Dogecoin has a cult following and at several points in its history, has had a serious nine-figure market cap.
Jackson’s “regular” job is Group Product Manager, Creative Cloud Entertainment at Adobe. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
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