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
The Skycoin Platform is the most advanced blockchain platform in the world. Developed by early contributors to both Bitcoin and Ethereum, Skycoin’s platform is completely secure, infinitely scalable, and ISP independent. It uses its own specific distributed consensus algorithm, called Obelisk, instead of other commonly used algorithms like proof of work (POW) and proof of stake (POS). Obelisk uses the concept of ‘web of trust dynamics’ which distributes influence over the network and makes consensus decisions depending upon the influence score of each node. Each node subscribes to a select number of other network nodes, and the density of a node’s network of subscribers determines its influence on the network. Skycoin is very fast. With transaction speeds close to 2 seconds and no transaction fees it can rival any other cryptocurrency on the market as a payment method. The transaction costs of Skycoin are covered by Coin Hours. This is value paid to Skycoin holders for each hour they hold a Skycoin. Skycoin is against charging transaction costs and mining incentives as it only drives up the costs of the network. The biggest benefit of Skycoin is that it is energy efficient due to the Web-of-Trust social proof. It can even run on a 30-watt cell phone processor making it great for mobile payments. Centralization becomes less of an issue when anyone can participate in the blockchain. Sia stores tiny pieces of your files on dozens of nodes across the globe. This eliminates any single point of failure and ensures highest possible uptime, on par with other cloud storage providers. A major goal of Skycoin is to promote actual usage of cryptocurrency rather than speculation. Skywire, the flagship application of Skycoin, has the ambitious goal of decentralizing the internet at the hardware level and is about to begin the testnet in April. However, this is just one of the many facets of the Skycoin ecosystem. Skywire will not only provide decentralized bandwidth but also storage and computation, completing the holy trinity of commodities essential for the new internet. Skycoin also has its own ICO platform called Fiber, their own deterministic programming language, CX, derived from Golang, a private decentralized messenger system called Sky-Messenger, and a decentralized social media platform, BBS. Here is another way to think of Skycoin: An open-source, community-owned, hardware-based peer to peer internet designed from first principles and leveraging the incentive system of the blockchain.