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57 votes
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How would I explain Ethereum to a non-technical friend?

Ethereum is a world computer [1] and might change how we interact, just like the internet did, 20 years ago. Like Bitcoin, it is based on a block chain, but Ethereum is more than just a currency. It ...
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46 votes
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What number of confirmations is considered secure in Ethereum?

From George Hallam: 12 confirmations; however, exchanges and entities handling very large amounts of Ether frequently are still encouraged to run two different Ethereum implementations and only ...
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43 votes
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Why don't Ethereum addresses have checksums?

Edited to add: As predicted, with the launch of the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), users and wallets have gradually begun switching over to using strings like "mywallet.eth" instead of the raw hex ...
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  • 20.9k
40 votes

What are the pros and cons of Ethereum balances vs. UTXOs?

The main validation constraints in a Bitcoin UTXO system are: every referenced input must be valid and not yet spent the transaction must have a signature matching the owner of the input for every ...
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38 votes

How do Ethereum's transaction fees compare to Bitcoin?

Every computation on the Ethereum network cost gas, so do value transfers like on the bitcoin blockchain. Every computational step, or OPCODE requires a specific amount of gas (which is hardcoded). ...
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37 votes

How would I explain Ethereum to a non-technical friend?

Ethereum explained to my mom Source.
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  • 4,598
35 votes

How would I explain Ethereum to a non-technical friend?

It depends on how technical your audience is, and you need to leave out a lot of subtleties, but I've been able to explain it to non-techie family and friends like so: A Distributed System (the ...
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  • 803
31 votes

How would I explain Ethereum to a non-technical friend?

Just like teaching someone about a computer for the first time, there's no need to dive into the nitty gritty details. You just have to tell them what the system does! Here's one way I might ...
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  • 20.9k
24 votes
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What are the differences between Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum blockchain?

The short answer is that Ethereum is an application platform. Blockchain technology is useful for far more than keeping track of a currency's balances, and Ethereum lets developers build applications ...
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24 votes

What number of confirmations is considered secure in Ethereum?

The geth client waits 5 blocks for confirmation of fresh minted blocks (around 1 minute). I0201 19:07:07.354260 9098 worker.go:349] 🔨 Mined block (#1483 / a2648b58). Wait 5 blocks for ...
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  • 31.3k
23 votes

How would I explain Ethereum to a non-technical friend?

The Ethereum Beginner's Guide from the blog.
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  • 31.3k
22 votes
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Can I download the whole blockchain from somewhere?

Answer If you want to download the blockchain data from an external source that is up to you, but that does come with risks of the data being corrupted or sabotaged in a way to compromise your machine ...
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22 votes
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Can I use the same private key for Ethereum and Bitcoin?

Yes, both cryptocoins use the same elliptic curve SECP256K1. Perhaps a better alternative is to use a BIP32 wallet. You have a master key that is not directly used for transactions, but it is used to ...
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20 votes
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What the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum private/public keys and address?

Yes and no. No - a Bitcoin address cannot be directly used in Ethereum, and vice versa. Yes - underneath, a bitcoin private key is essentially a random 256-bit number (in a certain range, see ...
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  • 2,197
16 votes
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Is it safe to reuse Ether addresses?

Currently, Ethereum uses elliptic curve cryptography (ECDSA), the same as Bitcoin. So whatever "unsafe" concerns there are with how Bitcoin transactions are signed, would be the same with Ethereum ...
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  • 77.9k
15 votes

What number of confirmations is considered secure in Ethereum?

Ethereum theoretically approaches finality in less time than Bitcoin, due to the GHOST protocol. This means that, with a 15 second block time, roughly 40 blocks are needed to match the 60 minutes that ...
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  • 33.9k
13 votes

How do Ethereum's transaction fees compare to Bitcoin?

In short, in Ethereum the fees are paid in gas and calculated based on contract code execution complexity, in bitcoin the're based solely on transaction size. See the these Ethereum gas fees tables ( ...
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  • 2,311
13 votes

What the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum private/public keys and address?

Just to add to the very good accepted answer: Coin | Address size | Address encoding | Address creation ---------+---------------------+------------------+------------------ Bitcoin | ...
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12 votes

How would I explain Ethereum to a non-technical friend?

1. Explanation for an absolute non-techy Lets first take a step backwards: How would you explain a conventional computer to a non-technical friend? A device that performs computations perhaps. Most ...
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  • 4,990
12 votes

What are the differences between Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum blockchain?

From this slide presentation from Ethereum's Developer Conference 2015, Ethereum is an application platform for "Not just money! Asset issuance, crowdfunding, domain registration, title registration, ...
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  • 77.9k
11 votes

How would I explain Ethereum to a non-technical friend?

Ethereum is a platform like the Internet. Most of the Internet is made of computers that are centralized: meaning they belong to one company or government. The problem with this is when something ...
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  • 77.9k
11 votes

What are the pros and cons of Ethereum balances vs. UTXOs?

The accepted answer is a very good summary of the following wiki: https://eth.wiki/en/fundamentals/design-rationale#accounts-and-not-utxos See it for further details, including Ethereum's rationale: ...
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  • 77.9k
11 votes
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Why are there no change addresses?

The fundamental difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin is that while Bitcoin uses a UTXO model, Ethereum uses a state-transition model. In Bitcoin, in order for a transaction to be valid, it must ...
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  • 33.9k
11 votes
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Is it possible to send transactions to multiple recipients?

The recipient of an Ethereum transaction can only ever be a single entity, as specified by the Yellow Paper (http://gavwood.com/paper.pdf) page 4, section 4.2, to field. However as you mentioned, a ...
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11 votes
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Bitcoin : Ethereum :: Raft : Paxo

No; Ethereum and Bitcoin's consensus algorithm is very different from Raft and Paxos. Ways in which they differ: In both Raft and Paxos, the systems elect a leader. There is no leader in Ethereum and ...
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  • 6,540
10 votes

What number of confirmations is considered secure in Ethereum?

From Vitalik Buterin says in Ethereum blog at 2015/09/14 about the topic of discussing "On Slow and Fast Block Times" https://blog.ethereum.org/2015/09/14/on-slow-and-fast-block-times/ only a small ...
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  • 101
9 votes

What are the critiques of Ethereum made by Bitcoin experts? And which ones do not apply to Bitcoin?

The primary critique of Ethereum made by leading members of the Bitcoin community is that the Ethereum network created a new token, ether (ETH), instead of finding a way to utilise existing bitcoins (...
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  • 20.9k
9 votes

How do I compare the "scalability" capabilities between ethereum and bitcoin?

Let me try to explain. Bitcoin Block Size Limit The Bitcoin side is pretty simple to understand. The bitcoin blockchain has a hardcoded block size limit of 1 MiB. With an average transaction size of ...
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9 votes
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What is the name of pool which keeps transactions in memory such as Bitcoin's mempool?

It's called the Transaction Pool, or TxPool in the code. From go-ethereum - tx_pool.go, lines 35 to 62: var ( // Transaction Pool Errors ... ) const ( maxQueued = 64 // max limit of ...
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8 votes

Why don't Ethereum addresses have checksums?

Ethereum addresses do, now, have a checksum. See EIP55 for the specification and updates about implementation. It is optional for use, but if you see a mixed-case address it should be validated ...
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