Ethereum: tutto quello che avresti sempre voluto sapere (ma non hai mai osato chiedere)

“Ethireum” or “ethereum”,
or pronounce it
however you want.
The important thing
is that when you speak
about blockchain,
you’ll often
hear about Ethereum.
What is this Ethereum?
Because it’s important.
How does it work?
We’ll talk about it in a bit
with our guest Thomas Bertani,
director of Eidoo
and someone who knows
a lot about the topic.
One, two. One, two.
One, two, three.
First question for Thomas: what
the hell is Ethereum?
Help us understand.
Ethereum is a second
generation blockchain platform
that was developed around
2013 by Vitalik Buterin,
a Canadian-Russian-etc
who was trying to figure out
how to create a platform
that shares the characteristics
of bitcoin but with additional
for building more
complex applications. So,
the more complex applications
in question could be
anything from decentralized insurance
to new financial instruments.
Or some Panini stickers that
you don’t need to trust
the issuer regarding
their rarity for example.
In short, applications of,
various types, gaming, gambling.
Finance, insurance, but
also crowdfunding, just think
ICOs, which are developed
on Ethereum
for the flexibility that it offers. So,
Ethereum has this platform
that allows you to implement
so-called “smart contracts”.
These are autonomous contracts that
live on the blockchain and allow you
to create new kinds of applications,
that don’t need intermediaries,
and that
take advantage of the classic characteristics
of bitcoin but with a flexibility
that allows an average developer
to interact
with the complexity of the blockchain
and to research
new use cases.
Oh, by the way, this special
is made in collaboration with Eidoo.
Eidoo is a company that
has this ecosystem
of startups connected to the
blockchain world and has two interesting
qualities I think. The first
is that they try to do
innovative things, for example
they’re building an exchange
that is decentralized,
which we should talk about
a bit because it could be an
important thing to understand.
The second is that they’re careful
about the issue of regulation,
which we like. For example, I saw that
they got a license
called VQF, or something like that,
which is
anti-money laundering. Which is an
important subject because, in a world
full of good-for-nothings, it’s important
to have someone
keeping an eye on the rules.
Eidoo, you’ll hear this name
a lot in the following videos
so you should
have a look at them.
But let’s continue.
The magic word is smart contract,
let’s talk more about this, Thomas, help
us get to the heart of the matter.
How smart and how contractual
are these smart contracts?
Well they’re called smart contracts
but in reality we often say
that they’re
neither smart nor contracts. Because
they’re just a piece of code
a program for our computer,
for our blockchain,
which of course cannot be smart,
it’s not intelligent,
it merely carries out what
it’s coded to do.
In particular, a smart contract
on ethereum can carry
out very simple instructions,
so it’s not necessary to imagine
particularly complex logic
but even more-or-less simple
logic. For example,
you receive a payment
and you issue a service.
The word contract, well,
definitely makes you think of legal
contracts, but it doesn’t have
anything in common with legal contracts.
In particular a legal contract
lends itself to interpretation,
a smart contract is a piece
of code that gets carried out
in the same way every time,
in a deterministic way,
on the blockchain. This allows you
to achieve the same result each time
with the same inputs. Clearly,
if we have an autonomous program,
a smart contract being
executed on the blockchain
like Ethereum, we always want
to get the same result
when the inputs are equivalent.
So, when a payment is received,
I want to be sure to always provide
a certain service.
So it’s essential
to have this kind of property.
So smart contracts
are definitely something
very interesting,
even if the name is far from
So you can really do thousands
of things with smart contracts
if you think about it.
You can organize a service
like Uber or Airbnb
or Mobike,
to rent your bikes, in a completely
independent way.
If someone makes a certain type of order,
then you release a certain type of bike,
and it’s no longer available
for others. In general,
this system, if you think about it,
can lead us to
complete independence,
autonomy, or automation
of some procedures that, today,
require perhaps
manual inputs.
In particular, another
application that could be built
with smart contracts
is a decentralized exchange.
Thomas, tell us what a decentralized
exchange is, because it could
be something
interesting, useful, important.
In the case of blockchain,
exchanges are one of the
biggest points of centralization,
which is creating problems of
trust for trading, funds,
just think about the case of Mt. Gox,
which was one of the centralized
exchanges. So exchanges are
merely where you go to trade,
particularly in cryptocurrency.
You can exchange euro for bitcoin,
bitcoin for ethereum, etc.
These centralized exchanges
are places
that hold our funds and that
we need to trust. Which means that,
as soon as these exchanges,
for one reason or another,
disappear, well, you can simply
lose all your funds.
They could run away with
your funds or
provide an honest, transparent
cryptocurrency trading service.
this is why decentralized exchanges
have an essential role.
Decentralized exchanges are simply
applications built like smart contracts,
often on ethereum, which
allow users
to have full control
over their own funds
but at the same time to exchange
their assets
in the cryptocurrency of their
choice, with other users
on the same network.
When you talk about crypto, about
blockchain, bitcoin, ethereum,
etc, in general, it’s always
in reference
to their value, to finance,
to cash.
The truth is that, out there,
there’s a giant world
alternatives, initiatives,
and possibilities.
A particularly interesting trend
that I wanted
to talk about with Thomas,
is that of the so-called non-fungible
tokens. What’s that about?
One of the hot topics,
in the last few months,
has been non-fungible tokens.
What’s it about? Well,
we already know what tokens are.
That is, when
we have an ICO, a crowdfunding
it’s often to distribute
these tokens,
these new assets, which live on
smart contracts
(almost always on ethereum)
and which allow you to access
various services on the blockchain.
Non-fungible tokens
are a similar concept, so
an asset that lives
on the blockchain,
but unlike fungible tokens,
which we get with
an ICO, etc, non-fungible tokens
are where each unit is different from the next.
Which means that, each token is unique,
demonstrably so.
Why, what’s the use of that?
The use is to
represent unique pieces on the
So that could be an
or it could be a Panini
sticker. It could be
anything. Essentially, it’s
a demonstrably scarce
token. So, it’s not demonstrably
scarce in the same sense
that bitcoin is, in the sense that
we know that
there’s a limited amount
in circulation, but each unit
is essentially unique in itself,
so we only have one token
of that type, which means that,
the sale or exchange
of this token will have
different dynamics.
It’s not traded on an exchange
but more likely on a platform
similar to eBay, where we can
list our unique token for sale
which could represent a unique
work of art that possibly has
someone out there
looking to buy it.
So what does this do for us
in terms of art ownership beyond
the traditional
arrangement? Well, for example,
thanks to the guarantee provided
by the blockchain and to the flexibility
of the instrument, the smart contract,
etc, we can easily possess
a certain shared token,
so for example,
we can have a token that
represents a very important
or desired artwork,
which is owned by
ten different parties,
and maybe one of these
owns 10% and wants to sell it
or trade it on an exchange
and they can do it in a completely secure way,
without needing
to disturb the other nine.
I think this subject of non-fungible
tokens is really cool.
It’s like saying that,
soon each of us
could own a piece of the Mona Lisa,
if it were divided into enough pieces
so that each one wouldn’t cost too much.
The last thing to mention about ethereum
is its creator, Vitalik Buterin,
who is a crazy character.
He’s exactly my idea
of a mad genius. I read an
interview with him in which
he says that he studied Chinese and
a couple of other languages at the same time,
and his knowledge ranges from
economic theories to
a thousand other things.
He’s someone with a mind
that races
at a thousand miles per hour,
He’s not your average character.
So then, the question is,
what I’m curious about, is how closely
ethereum is connected
to Vitalik. Because if ethereum
is completely connected to him,
it would be a mess, if tomorrow
I decide to kidnap him,
seeing as how ethereum has become
a protocol
of fundamental importance
for humanity,
you can turn it on or off, you see?
It’s a mess.
Thomas, what do you think?
Vitalik is a pretty interesting
we could say he’s kind of
the mascot
of ethereum. For sure he’s
the original inventor
of ethereum but what’s his
role today?
Well technically, if I’m not mistaken,
he’s the lead scientist,
so his role is to guide
research and development
efforts on ethereum.
What would happen today if
Vitalik disappeared?
Well let’s say that, whether you
like it or not, today Vitalik
still finds himself in the position
of being the one to resolve any
potential disputes
or questions that
may not necessarily
be simple to resolve at
the community level.
That being said, a blockchain
in and of itself, based on how it works,
is a collective effort and it’s
necessary to arrive at a consensus
to make any changes at
the protocol level. So that
means that Vitalik maybe
can give his point of view
and can have a degree of influence
in the community, but
he can’t make decisions in
an autonomous, arbitrary
way. So we can say that today
Vitalik is a component
of the community like Satoshi
could have been,
and clearly Satoshi was anonymous while
Vitalik isn’t, but this allows him to
continue to guide the project,
which is still in it’s first
evolutionary phase and which could
potentially evolve and change
much more over time.
What would happen if Vitalik disappeared?
There would probably be a bit of
of confusion
but more because of the habit
of having Vitalik nearby
than because of
true technical necessity.
With ethereum, the thing to keep
an eye on is the constant evolution,
the constant change, that’s the
interesting thing to see.
Not how it is today, but
in a year, two years, five years.
At the end of the day,
that’s the key.
What’s the saying?
Great companies
don’t believe in excellence,
but in constant improvement
and constant change.

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