What Is Ethereum? Learning Crypto with Amy on The HackerNoon Podcastby@podcast
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What Is Ethereum? Learning Crypto with Amy on The HackerNoon Podcast

by PodcastJanuary 11th, 2022
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Join Amy Tom as she asks ALL the questions about Ethereum to Andrew Levine, CEO of Koinos Group. On this episode of The HackerNoon Podcast: Who tf is Vitalik Buterin!? (03:28) What is Ethereum? (05:44) What's the difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin? (06:44) What is the point of Ethereum? (09:03) What are the disadvantages of Ethereum? (11:01)

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Join Amy Tom as she asks ALL the questions about Ethereum to Andrew Levine, CEO of Koinos Group.

On this episode of The HackerNoon Podcast:

  • Who tf is Vitalik Buterin!? (03:28)
  • What is Ethereum? (05:44)
  • What's the difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin? (06:44)
  • What is the point of Ethereum? (09:03)
  • What are the disadvantages of Ethereum? (11:01)

✨ This week's episode is sponsored by Bybit - one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges, with more than 2 million registered users. Learn more at

Follow Andrew online:



Podcast Transcript (Machine Generated, Excuse the Errors)

[00:00:00] Amy: Uh, Hey, Andrew, this is a safe space, right? Like it's just the two of us here. Nobody else has listened to this. Right. So I can ask all my dumb questions right now. 

[00:00:11] Andrew: Absolutely. Oh, 

[00:00:13] Amy: awesome. Great.

[00:00:23] Andrew: Yeah. 

[00:00:24] Amy: All right. Anyways, I, of course am your host, Amy, Tom. And this is The HackerNoon Podcast joining me today, as I have just alluded to is Andrew Levine from Koinos Group. Thank you very much for joining me today. I have a lot of dumb questions about Ethereum for you today. What even is that theory?

What does it do? Why did it become popular? Who started this? So let's get right into it. Tell me what your best working definition is of what a theory on is. 

[00:00:57] Andrew: Oh that's a great question. And before we get started, if it makes you feel better, the way I've acquired, all of my knowledge is. Almost entirely by asking stupid questions to my engineer, friends who I work with and who I'm, who were, who I'm building coin oats with, but I'm the marketing guy.

I'm the CEO, you know, I asked the stupid questions and often times some of our best ideas in my opinion, come out of those stupid questions. So don't be afraid to ask stupid questions. What we think is most important. Our mission is actually. To accelerate decentralization through accessibility. We think it's all, you're all about accessibility making this information accessible, making this technology accessible.

And there, there's no reason that, you know, intelligent people like yourself should find this technology. Inaccessible other than a failing on our part as the technologists to explain it. So I'm happy to be here. And I'm happy to have this conversation with you now, a theory about a theory. I think it's really helpful.

Like I, as a, as I said last time, right. To take a step back and look at the big picture and understand where this thing falls in the. Arc of history. And you really can't understand it without first understanding Bitcoin and how Bitcoin delivered this blockchain, this database that can store money.

And that's really what Bitcoin was designed and engineered to do and to do well for the first time in history, we wanted to wait, but you. The generic wage uh, Hershey, not that anyone would confuse. 

[00:02:51] Amy: You heard it here first on hacking. 

[00:02:55] Andrew: Yeah. What Satoshi was trying to do was for the first time in history, deliver money without a centralized entity, no private party, no individual group or institution like a central bank.

And they did that. They did that for the first time in history. They combined technology with economics to deliver Bitcoin. And so Bitcoin is a database designed to store Bitcoins. That's it

realization that Vitalic. The inventor of Ethereum hat. He probably wasn't the only one to start realizing this. Actually I think a lot of people as Bitcoin emerged and grew in popularity and our understanding of the technology. Broadened and deepened, because this is something people don't understand when a technology emerges, even the people who created it really don't necessarily understand it as well as people might imagine, we create things we play with.

And we create them and we think we have an idea of what they are, but very often we didn't really know what we were doing. We were just playing around and now it exists. And now we're learning about it as we play with it. And so as this process was happening, a lot of us were thinking, you know what?

It's not about this token. Bitcoin is cool. It's money, but it's this blockchain. It's this database that database structure is the only genuine technological innovation within Bitcoin because everything else existed beforehand. He assembled all these pre-existing technologies and tools. Into a new thing called the blockchain.

And that blockchain was so powerful that it could store money and Bitcoin uses it for that. But what if we could use it for other things? And after Bitcoin, a lot of projects came along. They copied Bitcoin and they tweaked it and they changed it so that you could use it for something else. And metallic had a brilliant insight.

The talc is objective. A genius. Nobody who's ever met him or knew or read his work would argue that point. He's brilliant. And what he saw was that all these people. We're trying to use the blockchain to do other things, but they were doing it in a very inefficient way. There were copying Bitcoin tweaking the Bitcoin code and launching something that wasn't Bitcoin, that wasn't connected to Bitcoin.

And he said what if we just took the blockchain and then allowed people to write code on it? And that would enable them to use the blockchain to do anything. That code can do meaning all of these applications that we use, all the stuff we do on computers is now stuff we can integrate a blockchain into and a very, and to go to the most obvious use case for this is that now you could program that blockchain to not just have one currency, like a theory, but you could program it to have an infinite variety.

Of new cryptocurrencies and that's what these ERC 20 tokens are. Not only that you can program it to have the NFTs, non fungible tokens, something that's different from cryptocurrencies and an infinitely growing variety of use cases. 

[00:06:43] Amy: Okay. So at the end of the day, a theory is both a blockchain and a token, right?

[00:06:51] Andrew: Yes. So it has tokens on it. I think the best way to think about it. And you can let this mall in the back of your mind because it's admittedly a bit complex. Bitcoin is an application. It is a type of money. Ethereum is a decentralized computer. It runs computations. It is a computer. And one of the things you can program that computer to do is store tokens, like Bitcoins, tokens, like ether, which is the native currency and Ethereum ether.

Is used in a similar fashion to how Bitcoin is used in Bitcoin, meaning that in order to use the protocol and in order to build the blockchain and earn rewards you are incentivized with this native currency. And when you want to do stuff on both Bitcoin and Ethereum, when you want to use the network, You have to pay a fee and the fee is in the native currency.

What you do on those networks is what's so different on Bitcoin. The only thing you do, the only thing it makes sense to do is send and receive Bitcoins Bitcoin. There's just more, you can do, you can run coat, but if you want to run that code, it's still the same. It's still the same underlying mechanism.

You pay a fee, the code runs and you get your output, but you get to run a program, which is not something you can really do on Bitcoin. You can, it's hard. It doesn't make much sense. 

[00:08:43] Amy: Okay. Okay. So there is the computer behind the blockchain projects. You have to pay a fee to use Ethereum with the ETH that you buy.

That's what it is, right? 

[00:08:58] Andrew: Yeah. Sorry just to go back a little bit, the easiest it's. Looking at the big picture to remember what we're all trying to do here, which is power, decentralized solutions, centralized networks, peer to peer networks of people all over the world, working together to solve some problems.

It's it's about decentralization. Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency. That's it? It's sorry. Did I say Bitcoin? Great. Perfect. Bitcoin is a decentralized currency. If Miriam is a decentralized computer with a decentralized currency, that is what you, what you pay to use the network. 

[00:09:49] Amy: Okay. Got it.

But the Ethereum computer is not so lead to buy and sell, buy and receive. Cryptocurrencies it is, can be used for multiple different blockchain projects because you can add your code on top of 

[00:10:07] Andrew: it. Yes. And the term we use for this is that it's a platform that you can use to release decentralized applications.

So computers are things that you use to run applications, decentralized computers are what you use to run decentralized applications. 

[00:10:30] Amy: Okay. Got it. Got it. So would you, so in theory um, essentially it was the first blockchain. Or sorry, project for coding to over launching your blockchain projects. 

[00:10:49] Andrew: Yeah.

That's a good way to think about it. So Bitcoin was the first blockchain and if theory M was the first general purpose. 

[00:10:57] Amy: No, sorry. Sorry. So using the term, the general purpose blockchain? Yes. Okay. Got it. So then why might people not, like, why did other blockchains coming to existence? What was it about Ethereum that needed more blockchains to start popping up?

[00:11:17] Andrew: There's a few things that aren't great about Ethereum, many of which trace back to the fact that it's just old, that it was the first. So they had to build a lot of stuff themselves. They had to build their programming language themselves and to bring their, build their virtual machine themselves.

But I think the truth of the matter is that all that stuff's kind of BS. And the reason why all these other projects come along is because the fees on Ethereum always become quite high. And so by launching a fresh new blockchain, you can offer lower fees and acquire market share and acquire users, but ultimately.

Those fees. If you are successful, those fees become high too. Those fees become expensive too. And so that's why with koinonia, what we're delivering to the market is the first general purpose blockchain that is truly feed less. You don't have to pay fees to use it at all. We think that having fees is a perfectly useful approach to general.

Blockchains. And, but we, based on our experience, working with developers, we believe that it is important to have an alternative to that fee-based model. And that's what we're trying to bring to market with coin. 

[00:12:46] Amy: Okay. Makes sense. All right. I think I understand a theory. I'm now that the general purpose blockchain.

We've got it. I am. I am a master now. Four episodes in and I'm just killing it. All right. All right. Thank you very much, Andrew, for joining me on the hacker noon podcast. If our listeners want to find you in what you're working on, where it can be. 

[00:13:15] Andrew: Yeah, so you can learn more about the quinoa blockchain by going to

Our company is quite as group. You can learn about us and schedule a consultation with us by going to koinonia stock group. And you can follow me on Twitter at Andrew. All 

[00:13:33] Amy: right. Great. Thanks for tuning in hackers. I hope you learned as much about a theory as I did. I will see you in next week. Stay weird and I'll see you on the internet.