I would like to explain how the Ethereum smart contracts get initiated to run, and what they are, to a non-technical friend. I do not need to explain to them the execution of the contracts and the programming language that makes it programmable. I do not need to explain to them the P2P networking and decentralization. I simply need to explain the mechanism involved prior to executing a contract.

As analogy, think about it as explaining a vending machine. Inserting a coin into a vending machine is the transaction (me sending the money). Deciding whether it is the right coin (or the right amount) is the work the miners do. Selecting the product from a vending machine is the execution of the smart contract. What I need to explain to them is the part where the machine decides whether it is the right coin or the right amount of coins, just before executing the order I made.

A good answer that was already given is here: At which point the smart contracts get executed?

However, what the answer lacks is explanation of the architecture and logistics.

Lets just say that I need something that can be put into an illustrated flow-chart, and that they will understand it when written in such a manner.

1 Answer 1


Found it! It is exactly what I needed.


The summary: This is a non-technical video that does not talk about P2P or Solidity language. It simply explains how things are organized. It explains that smart-contract is still just a contract, that code is built into a block-chain, that ledger is updated once the node is executed. The node is executed if/when the right conditions are met.

-Please see the video, if this summary is not enough. If it goes off-line, let me know, I will find another one.

  • Hi there. Could you summarise your findings and expand your answer a little? (Link-only answers tend to get removed by the moderators, I think mainly because the link could go dead at any point.) Oct 27, 2017 at 15:36
  • 1
    OK .... Will do.... done. Oct 27, 2017 at 16:01

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