Intro to Smart Contracts
~2 minute readWritten on 4th Dec 2022
What are smart contracts and how do they work on Ethereum?
Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. These contracts are stored on the blockchain, which is a decentralized and immutable ledger, ensuring that the terms of the contract cannot be altered once they are set in place.
Smart contracts were first proposed by Nick Szabo in 1994, but it wasn't until the creation of Ethereum in 2015 that they were able to be implemented on a large scale. Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.
The use of smart contracts on Ethereum allows for the automation of complex processes, such as supply chain management, voting systems, and financial transactions. This allows for increased efficiency, transparency, and security in various industries.
A deep dive into specific applications of smart contracts on Ethereum
Decentralized finance (DeFi) is a growing movement that uses blockchain technology to enable financial services such as lending, borrowing, and trading without the need for intermediaries such as banks. This allows for increased accessibility, transparency, and security in the financial sector.
One of the most popular DeFi platforms is Aave, which allows users to earn interest on their cryptocurrency deposits and borrow against their assets. Aave utilizes smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to automate the process of lending and borrowing, making it a more efficient and secure alternative to traditional financial institutions.
One key aspect of Aave is that it uses a concept called "flash loans" which allows users to borrow large amounts of money without collateral in a single transaction. This is made possible by the use of smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain, which ensure that the loan is automatically repaid at the end of the transaction.
Governance refers to the processes and mechanisms by which a community makes decisions and enacts them. In the context of blockchain, governance refers to the way in which a blockchain network is managed and updated.
Snapshot is a governance tool that allows users to propose, discuss, and vote on changes to the Ethereum blockchain. It utilizes smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain to automate the process of voting and decision-making. This allows for a more decentralized and transparent governance process.
One key aspect of Snapshot is that it allows for on-chain voting, which means that users can vote directly on the Ethereum blockchain using their tokens. This allows for a more secure and transparent voting process, as the results of the vote are recorded on the immutable ledger of the blockchain.
Smart contracts on Ethereum have the potential to revolutionize various industries by providing a more efficient, transparent, and secure way to conduct complex processes. The use of smart contracts in DeFi platforms such as Aave and governance tools like Snapshot are just a few examples of the many potential applications of this technology.