Ethereum: The World Computer

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By taking the cryptographic payment structure of bitcoin and adding a Turing complete scripting language, Ethereum is attempting to create the most viable tool for executing smart contracts using blockchain technology.

The term Turing complete here means a system capable of performing any logical step of the computational function. A technology in wide use today which employs Turing completeness is JavaScript, the programming language which powers the worldwide web.

What differentiates Ethereum from bitcoin is that it doesn’t stand first to be a payment system, but rather a computing platform. The cryptocurrency of Ethereum, ether, acts as a sort of fuel to power the engine of this computing platform. Ether is consumed by miners for accessing resources of the network. The more ether a user holds, the more “gas” they can pump into the computational engine of the Ethereum virtual machine.

Ethereum is a world computer you can’t shut down and you can’t turn off. This combination of cryptographic architecture and Turing completeness, could enable entirely new industries to spawn, where traditional business models occupying the role of middleman, will increasingly feel the pressure to innovate or die.

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