Ethereum is a smart contract platform that enables developers to build tokens and decentralized applications (dapps). ETH is the native currency for the Ethereum platform and also works as the transaction fees to miners on the Ethereum network. Ethereum is the pioneer for blockchain based smart contracts. Smart contract is essentially a computer code that runs exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference. It can facilitate the exchange of money, content, property, shares, or anything of value. When running on the blockchain a smart contract becomes like a self-operating computer program that automatically executes when specific conditions are met. Ethereum allows programmers to run complete-turing smart contracts that is capable of any customizations. Rather than giving a set of limited operations, Ethereum allows developers to have complete control over customization of their smart contract, giving developers the power to build unique and innovative applications. Ethereum being the first blockchain based smart contract platform, they have gained much popularity, resulting in new competitors fighting for market share. The competitors includes: Ethereum Classic which is the oldchain of Ethereum, Qtum, EOS, Neo, Icon, Tron and Cardano. Ethereum wallets are fairly simple to set up with multiple popular choices such as myetherwallet, metamask, and Trezor. Read here for more guide on using ethereum wallet: How to Use an Ethereum Wallet
Beam Mimblewimble is a scalable, fungible, and confidential cryptocurrency based on the Mimblewimble implementation. WHY BEAM? Core features include complete control over your privacy, All transactions are private by default, No addresses or other private information are stored on the blockchain, Superior scalability due to compact blockchain size, Opt-in Auditability, Support online and offline transactions, atomic swap, hardware wallets integration. Governance model No premine, No ICO. Backed by Treasury Establishing a non-profit foundation to govern the protocol after Mainnet launch How does it work? Wallets’ owners create new transaction using secure channel either online or offline Both wallets participate in signing the transaction using Schnorr protocol Wallet sends transaction to node Each transaction contains a list of Inputs and Outputs represented by Pedersen Commitments, as well as explicit fees and kernels. Each transaction also contains non-interactive zero knowledge range proof to verify that the output transaction value is positive Transaction is verified by the node Each transaction is verified with respect to the recent blockchain state which is stored as a Merkle Tree. The root hash of the tree is recorded in block header along with a proof of work. In addition, each node periodically creates compacted history to allow ‘fast sync’ of new and existing nodes. Transaction is added to the mining pool A block is mined every minute and is sent back to the node for verification and distribution. Mined blocks containing the new transactions are sent to the known peers A valid block that is extending the longest chain is accepted as a new Tip and propagated further until full consensus is reached. Fast sync When a new node connects to the network for the first time it can request compacted history containing only system state and blockchain headers. There is no need to retrieve the entire transaction history.