Smart Contracts: The Ethereum Bias and The Graphene Undercurrent by@andrarchy

Smart Contracts: The Ethereum Bias and The Graphene Undercurrent

Andrew Levine HackerNoon profile picture

Andrew Levine

CEO of Koinos Group, creators of the Koinos blockchain

Building great applications takes both decentralized and centralized databases, and so Koinos is being designed to enable developers to integrate a decentralized database into their stack regardless of how much or how little they want to rely on that database.

I’m Andrew Levine, the CEO of Koinos Group, and below you will find our first episode of the Koinos Group podcast. We’ll be using this podcast to explore a wide range of topics because as a decentralized application development platform with no barriers to entry, we expect the Koinos blockchain to touch every corner of the technology space.

We’ll share information about the project, interview members of the team, and interview people from other projects, not just in the blockchain space but in the tech space more generally because we’re building Koinos to add value to any project not just projects that want to bill themselves as decentralized or blockchain-powered.

In this episode I interview one of my co-founders, Michael Vandeberg, who is also one of the architects of the Koinos Blockchain. He starts out by telling us briefly about his background and experience, and then we go on to talk about Graphene, the blockchain technology that powers a number of blockchains like Bitshares, Steem and Hive.

Audio version


Even though Koinos doesn’t use Graphene, I wanted to have this conversation because I think it provides an important historical context for Koinos and insight into the very nature of smart contracts. Graphene came out around the same time as Ethereum and was intended as an alternative method for developing and executing smart contracts that achieved superior performance by foregoing the need for a virtual machine.

I’ve been in this space a long time, so I’ve been thinking about smart contracts basically since they were invented. Not only that, but I used to be a lawyer so I also have a decent understanding of legal contracts which were actually the inspiration for smart contracts, and yet even I struggle with the concept. So I know how hard it can be to wrap your mind around smart contracts.

The Ethereum Bias and Solidity's Dominance

Part of what makes it so challenging is that it’s almost impossible to even think of smart contracts outside of Ethereum’s implementation, which involves writing code in a dedicated programming language, Solidity, and having that code run in a virtual machine which, if you’re not familiar, is kind of like a computer running inside of another computer.

While this is a very powerful approach that Koinos will employ, I think that the additional perspective that I, and the rest of the team have gotten, by understanding how Graphene implements smart contracts was actually key to inspiring the innovations that will set Koinos apart and enable it to provide incredible value to developers and their end-users.

I hope you enjoy the episode and if you have any suggestions for topics we should cover in future episodes, please leave those in the comments.

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