Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed, Turing-complete computing platform which can run Smart Contracts. Smart Contracts are applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. Ethereum also provides a cryptocurrency token called “Ether”, which can be transferred between accounts and used to compensate participant nodes for computations performed.
Ethereum could be described as highly programmable digital money. Imagine automatically sending money from one person to another but only when a certain set of conditions are met. For example an individual wants to purchase a home from another person. Traditionally there are multiple third parties involved in the exchange including lawyers and escrow agents which makes the process unnecessarily slow and expensive. With Ethereum, a piece of code could automatically transfer the home ownership to the buyer and the funds to the seller after a deal is agreed upon without needing a third party to execute on their behalf.
Many of the slow, insecure centralized systems we use today can be built in a decentralized manner on the Ethereum platform. Decentralization is important because it eliminates single points of failure or censorship. Decentralized platforms cut out the middlemen which can ultimately lead to lower costs for the user.
How does Ethereum differ from other blockchains such as Bitcoin? Ethereum has a number of advantages:
1. In Ethereum the block time is set to 14 to 15 seconds compared to Bitcoins 10 minutes. This allows for faster transaction times. Ethereum does this by using the Ghost protocol.
2. Ethereum has a slightly different economic model than Bitcoin – Bitcoin block rewards halve every 4 years whilst Ethereum releases the same amount of Ether each year ad infinitum.
3. Ethereum has a different method for costing transactions depending on their computational complexity, bandwidth use and storage needs. Bitcoin transactions compete equally with each other. This is called Gas in Ethereum and is limited per block whilst in Bitcoin, it is limited by the block size.
4. Ethereum has its own Turing complete internal code. Turing-complete code means that given enough computing power and enough time anything can be calculated. Bitcoin does not have this form of flexibility.
5. Ethereum was crowd funded whilst Bitcoin was released and early miners own most of the coins that will ever be mined. With Ethereum 50% of the coins will be owned by miners in year five.
6. Ethereum discourages centralized pool mining through its Ghost protocol rewarding stale blocks. There is no advantage to being in a pool in terms of block propagation.
7. Ethereum uses a memory hard hashing algorithm called Ethash that mitigates against the use of ASICS and encourages decentralized mining by individuals using their GPU’s.
For the Morpheus Network, the choice was obvious to use Ethereum-based ERC223 tokens (which are backwards compatible with ERC20 tokens). Any Ethereum wallet (MyEtherWallet, Ledger Nano, Trezor, etc) will be able to accept and store the Morpheus Network token.
Morpheus.Network was designed in consultation with some of the world’s largest shipping, customs & banking firms to create a full-service, global, automated, supply chain platform with an integrated cryptocurrency payment system utilizing blockchain technology.