Ethereum is a crypto-currency, like bitcoin.Having said that, ethereum and bitcoin are very different types of crypto-currencies. Bitcoin is just a currency. It was designed to be basic and simple. Ethereum was designed to do a lot more. Ameer Rosic wrote this from Huffo a while back
The first thing about Ethereum is that it is not just a digital currency. It is a blockchain-based platform with many aspects. It features smart contracts, the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) and it uses its currency called ether for peer-to-peer contracts.
Ethereum’s smart contracts use blockchain stored applications for contract negotiation and facilitation. The benefit of these contracts is that the blockchain provides a decentralized way to verify and enforce them. The decentralized aspect makes it incredibly difficult for fraud or censorship. Ethereum’s smart contracts aim to provide greater security than traditional contracts and bring down the associated costs.
Perhaps you start to get the idea. In order for smart contracts to come into general use, ethereum needs developers to start creating various types. That is why ehtereum would benefit from a platform that would profile the various types of smart contracts, and other tools, that use ethereum.
Or at least that is what the firm coinbase thinks. They have released a new app that can be downloaded to your smartphone that provides just this type of platform. It is called “token”. As Fred Wilson writes
Token … its a mobile browser for Ethereum apps. But it is also a messenger (based on the Signal Protocol from Whisper Systems) and an Ethereum wallet.
What is the potential? Fred writes
The goals of the Token project are to:
- Provide financial services to the ~2B people in the developing world who have a cell phone, but don’t have access to a bank account.
- Make it dramatically easier for people to build and use Ethereum applications.
- Shift digital currency from being just a speculative investment to being a payment network for useful goods and services.
In other words, Token will hopefully become the place where developers showcase what you can do with ethereum.
Stay tuned! This is interesting.
BTW, if you are among the many who do not see why the decentralized services that blockchain enables (like ethereum), check out this post by Al Wenger. We are not just talking about digital currency.