This week, Ethereum (ETH %), Bitcoin Cash (BCH %), and Litecoin (LTC %) each saw impressive gains. BTC and ETH are both digital currencies, but the primary purpose of ether is not to establish itself as an alternative monetary system but rather to facilitate. However, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are three major cryptocurrencies that were launched after Bitcoin, and have been consistently popular. BTC MINE GAME MINERS
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Conversely, initial deployments in Ethereum are relatively expensive, while later contract executions are cheaper. These differences in deployment encourage different kinds of smart contracts. A good example is LocalCryptos , which supports non-custodial local trading for both Ethereum and Bitcoin. For Ethereum it uses a big contract that keeps track of all trades, while for Bitcoin it creates individual contracts for every trade.
While Ethereum has multiple high-level languages that compile to EVM bytecode, there is less of a focus on this with Bitcoin. Although the systems that can be built with them are complex, Bitcoin contracts themselves are usually quite simple.
So there is less of a need to abstract away the underlying system. And because of Bitcoin contracts' size limits and high costs per added bytes, it is important to keep contracts as small as possible. While these kinds of high-level languages are less important in Bitcoin, they do exist. The most elaborate high-level language for Bitcoin is Ivy , which was created in by Dan Robinson.
An example smart contract written in Ivy is included below. The contract can be used to send money that can be reclaimed by the sender if the recipient doesn't spend it timely. More recently several researchers at Blockstream released Miniscript , which is a language focused on analysis and composability of smart contracts, rather than abstracting away the underlying system. This seems to be the right path, given the fact that Bitcoin contracts tend to lack the complexity that needs more abstraction.
On one hand there is Ethereum, which is able to create many powerful and useful smart contracts that live completely on-chain. At the same time it presents scaling issues due to its stateful nature. On the other hand, Bitcoin's stateless model for smart contracts allows for independent, simple verification of smart contract transactions. But its scripting system limits the usefulness of its contracts.
Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin share the same history until they forked, so their underlying scripting systems are the same in functionality and Bitcoin Cash benefits from the same upsides. Since then, a part of the Bitcoin Cash community has recognised the demand for more useful smart contracts. Bitcoin Cash has enabled new functionality, making its smart contracts more useful , while keeping the essential properties that allow for Bitcoin's stateless verification.
To understand the possibilities of smart contracts on Bitcoin Cash we need to look at its biannual network upgrades. These network upgrades are performed every year in May and November since the original hard fork in We specifically discuss the changes to the Bitcoin Script engine, although several other improvements have been made, such as Schnorr signatures. Early on in Bitcoin, several opcodes were disabled due to issues that made them unsafe to use.
Within the first year after the Bitcoin Cash fork, the developers of the Bitcoin-ABC node addressed these issues and reintroduced the opcodes with slightly amended functionality , shown in the image below. Most importantly, this update enables encoding and decoding of structured data within Bitcoin Script.
Half a year after this, another new opcode was released in the network upgrade of November If we combine all scripting updates that were introduced in , these can be used to bring novel and useful smart contract functionality into Bitcoin Cash. The new functionality of Bitcoin Cash adds significant complexity to its smart contracts over the original Bitcoin Script. This makes it more important to have an ecosystem that provides higher levels of abstraction through high-level languages, SDKs and tooling.
The two big projects working on this right now are Spedn , which was created by the pseudonymous Tendo Pein , and CashScript , which was created by me and is syntactically inspired by Ethereum's Solidity. These tools make it easier to work with smart contracts in Bitcoin Cash, although they are still in development.
We use snippets of CashScript code to illustrate functionality in the sections below. When the past updates to Bitcoin Script are combined, they allow you to bring external data into smart contracts on Bitcoin Cash through trusted oracles. Structured data can be encoded into a byte array, and signed by an oracle provider. Then the smart contract can verify the signature and decode the structured data.
To increase decentralisation, a smart contract can be set up to use several data sources , rather than trusting a single centralised service. The second big use case is a technique called covenants, which derives its name from a term used in property law to restrict an object's use. In the case of Bitcoin Cash, it restricts the use of money in a smart contract.
So while smart contracts in Bitcoin can only authorise the general spending of money, Bitcoin Cash contracts are able to put constraints on the amount of money that can be spent or who the recipients can be, among other constraints. When transferring Bitcoin, the sender has to provide a signature to authorise the transaction.
To generate this signature, the sender signs a hash representation of the transaction. This hash is called the sighash , while the actual transaction data is contained in the sighash preimage. The data format can be inspected in the specification , and is included in the image below. An important field is scriptCode , which contains the bytecode of the smart contract itself. Another is hashOutputs that allows you to enforce the outputs of a transaction.
While it is good to know how covenants work on a technical level, CashScript has abstracted away most of the complexity associated with covenants. When writing smart contracts with CashScript these fields are readily available without going through the steps to verify and decode the sighash preimage manually. The first smart contract to use covenants was Licho's Last Will , a smart contract that allows you to put a dead man's switch on your holdings.
The contract defines three different functions. The first allows an inheritor to claim the funds after days. The second allows the owner's cold key to spend the money in any way. The third allows the owner's hot key to refresh the day duration by enforcing that the full contract balance is sent back to the contract.
A CashScript version of Last Will is included below, but the original version was written with Spedn and can be inspected here. While this is one of the simpler examples of a covenant contract, it's possible to create much more interesting covenants. People have used covenants to create Mecenas , a recurring payment system, and Be. More recently we have even seen AnyHedge , a decentralised derivatives platform.
The latter is very similar to Bitcoin Cash's implementation of covenants. More practical information on covenants can be found in Tendo Pein's article on read. For the Last Will contract it can be valuable to change the inheritor when the contract is already in place. Since we can enforce sending to the current contract by looking at its bytecode, we can enforce sending to a slightly different contract by slightly changing this bytecode. Doing so, we create a function that sends the entire contract's balance to a contract with the exact same bytecode, but with a different inheritor.
We can only do this with constructor parameters of a known size e. The constructor parameters are always the first data of the contract's bytecode, which is how we are able to easily replace the old data with new data. The inheritor is the first constructor parameter and it has a size of 20 bytes, so we are able to apply this technique, as can be seen below. By using this technique, it's possible to change some variables in a contract while keeping the same rules of the contract.
We refer to this as "simulating" state, since it offers some of the benefits of contract state, without some of the drawbacks of a stateful system. There is always a trade-off, so this method has different drawbacks. The main issue is that we're not actually changing any variables in the original contract, since this is impossible due to Bitcoin Cash's statelessness.
Instead, a new contract is created with a new address and the full balance can be transferred to this new contract. This causes UX problems due to the new address, but these can be mitigated by having a good application layer abstraction over these smart contracts. Replacing these variables inside the bytecode can feel quite hacky, especially when trying to replace variables that are deeper inside the bytecode. This functionality should be abstracted away in high-level languages, so that the new bytecode is automatically generated by providing the new parameters.
That kind of abstraction could look like this:. Many abstractions come at the cost of larger contracts, which results in higher fees. Because transaction fees are generally quite low on Bitcoin Cash, this is not a deterrent. But Bitcoin Cash has the same size limits as Bitcoin, so these abstractions do make it more difficult to stay within the limits.
This results in many developers having to hand-optimise the compiled bytecode. Every cryptocurrency has trade-offs in its smart contract systems. Ethereum is the most used smart contract platform with the most extensive functionality. Bitcoin offers a more rudimentary version of smart contracts through its stateless scripting system.
This stateless system is more efficient to validate, but offers less functionality. Bitcoin Cash builds on the same foundations as Bitcoin, but has added new functionality. This attempts to achieve a compromise between efficient validation and useful smart contracts.
In the end, all are building towards similar goals. This article is written in Q4 of , and reflects the current state of the platforms. Cryptocurrency is a fast-paced field, so the people involved with these platforms are always working on improvements that may change the outlook of the ecosystem.
Ethereum is working on a major Ethereum 2. Ethereum 2. The full roadmap for ETH2. But if this major update is able to to achieve its goals, this can present a strong case for Ethereum. Smart contract research in Bitcoin is focused on further improving efficiency and privacy of smart contracts. This includes solutions like Taproot and scriptless scripts. At the same time Bitcoin Cash has enabled additional smart contract functionality and is focused on making these changes more accessible.
Disclaimer : I am the author of CashScript, one of the projects working on Bitcoin Cash smart contracts. I have also worked on and contributed to open source Ethereum projects, and currently maintain several Ethereum libraries. The goal of this article is not to advocate for any of the discussed platforms or technologies, but rather to provide a comprehensive comparison for anyone interested in working with smart contracts on Ethereum, Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
Stay up to date! The EVM explained A big difference between these general-purpose platforms and Ethereum's EVM is that Ethereum's smart contract code is executed by all Ethereum nodes to verify transaction validity. EVM fee structure Source Every transaction uses an amount of gas, depending on the opcodes used. Stack-based computation Source To complement the stack, the contract memory data location is used to store, retrieve and pass data within the current contract execution.
This is the same case for Ethereum. With proof of work, miners around the world try to solve a complicated mathematical puzzle to be the first one to add a block to the blockchain. Ethereum, however, is working on moving to a different form of transaction validation known as proof of stake. With proof of stake, a person can mine or validate transactions in a block based on how many coins he owns. The more coins a person holds, the more mining power he will have.
In Bitcoin, every time a miner adds a block to the blockchain, he is rewarded with 6. In Etherium a miner, or validator, receives a value of 3 ether every time a block is added to the blockchain, and the reward will never be halved. The transaction fees in Bitcoin are entirely optional. On the other hand, you must provide some amount of ether for your transaction to be successful on Ethereum.
The ether you offer will get converted into a unit called gas. This gas drives the computation that allows your transaction to be added to the blockchain. As for the average amount of time it takes to add a block to the blockchain, in Bitcoin it takes 10 minutes. In Ethereum, it takes only about 12 to 15 seconds. Hashing algorithms are how these systems can maintain their privacy and ensure security. Bitcoin uses a hashing algorithm known as SHA Ethereum uses a cryptographic algorithm called Ethash.
Bitcoin has over 18 million bitcoins currently in existence, and Ethereum has million ether. This has a lot to do with the fact that it takes a lot less time for a block to be added to Ethereum than to Bitcoin. The current block size is 1, kilobytes for Bitcoin and 94 kilobytes for Ethereum. And while the market value of Bitcoin is significantly higher than that of any form of digital currency on the market right now, it is closely followed by Ethereum, which hopes to take over one day.
The answer to the question of which cryptocurrency is better in the choice between Bitcoin vs. Ethereum, it depends entirely on your requirements. While Bitcoin works better as a peer-to-peer transaction system, Ethereum works well when you need to create and build distributed applications and smart contracts. The choice is entirely up to you to choose a winner between Bitcoin vs.
There has never been a better time to learn about blockchain and cryptocurrency from experts on the cutting edge! Karin has spent more than a decade writing about emerging enterprise and cloud technologies. A passionate and lifelong researcher, learner, and writer, Karin is also a big fan of the outdoors, music, literature, and environmental and social sustainability. Lesson - 9 What Is Dogecoin?
Understanding the Crypto-Star! Lesson - 10 Dogecoin vs. Crypto Lesson - Ethereum vs Bitcoin: Which One is Better? Previous Next. Tutorial Playlist. Table of Contents View More. About the Author Karin Kelley Karin has spent more than a decade writing about emerging enterprise and cloud technologies.
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Transactions involving the digital currency Bitcoin are processed, verified, and stored within a digital ledger known as a blockchain.
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|Ethereum or bitcoin cash||This decentralized platform enables the creation and distribution of small computer programs known as smart contracts and decentralized applications Dapps. Learn the essentials Get up to speed on Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum with articles, guides, and step-by-step tutorials. Bitcoin Cash BCH is a cryptocurrency that shares many of the same characteristics as Bitcoin BTC yet also integrates please click for source number of changes and features that set it apart. Bitcoin Cash is down 6. Transactions involving the digital currency Bitcoin are processed, verified, and stored within a digital ledger known as a blockchain. The future of Bitcoin Cash vs Ethereum looks very bright as their ultimate goal is to overtake the king of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin. Integrating changes - or the 'governance' of Bitcoin - is a quasi-political process based on deliberation, persuasion, and volition.|
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