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Bitcoin is currently the world’s most popular digital currency. It is the first implementation of a blockchain-based, decentralized electronic cash system. The second most-popular digital currency in the world is Ethereum. Ethereum takes Bitcoin technology and expands it.
In this article, we explain some of the basics of Ethereum. Many links are provided throughout to help you get started with Ethereum in Cambodia.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is a decentralized, trustless platform that facilitates something called “smart contracts.” Smart contracts are computer programs that define the conditions regarding how digital currencies are exchanged. The transactions are stored on a public accounting ledger called “the blockchain.” Blockchain technology eliminates the need for trust between parties because the data is shared by all participants on the network. Since transactions are publicly stored and verified they are nearly impossible to forge.
Co-founded by Vitalik Buterin, the open-source Ethereum protocol code is maintained by hundreds of developers around the world. As of November 2017, over 17,000 different tokens have been created on the Ethereum network, each of them uniquely designed for a specific purpose. Ethereum, then, is like the smartphone of digital currencies.
What are Tokens and ICOs?
Tokens are the unit of account used by smart contracts. As we explained in our interview with the Phnom Penh Post, an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) establishes the tokens that trade under the conditions defined by a smart contract.
Many new tokens are issued in an ICO by businesses who want to raise equity capital. The tokens themselves have value, and the company’s performance affects the price of the token (although many tokens are standalone). Selling tokens, then, can be similar to issuing stock.
How can I get Ether in Cambodia?
Ether is the name of the digital currency which trades on the Ethereum network. You must have it if you wish to purchase tokens or participate in ICOs. There are several ways to acquire Ether in Cambodia, such as:
- Facebook Bitcoin group – Several Cambodian Bitcoin Facebook groups contain Ethereum traders
- Shapeshift.io – Shapeshift is a great and easy way to convert between many digital currencies
- Localethereum.com – Local Ethereum is a new peer-to-peer exchange platform similar to Local Bitcoins
- Coin Café – The first and possibly only restaurant in Phnom Penh to accept Bitcoin now accepts and sells Ethereum
What Ethereum wallets can I use?
If you don’t store your Ether at an exchange, you must have a wallet. There are many options, including:
- MyEtherWallet.com – A browser based wallet that does not store your private keys on their servers
- Exodus – A locally stored lightweight wallet app with support for multiple currencies
- Toshi – A messaging app and an Ethereum wallet in one, and a fun way to get started with Ethereum
- Geth or Parity – Full-node wallets that store the entire Ethereum blockchain on your computer
[For a brief overview on Bitcoin wallets click here.]
What can I do with my Ether?
In a previous article, we listed the several places that accept Bitcoin in Cambodia. Most, if not all, of those place will be willing to accept Ether as a payment medium. Listed below are several other ideas on what you can do with your Ether:
- Spend your Ether in Cambodia.
- Use TenX. Currently one of the most interesting Ethereum projects, TenX gives you the ability to spend your cryptocurrencies anywhere that VISA is accepted
- Buy Tokens. Support companies and projects that are building on the Ethereum platform
- Generate Tokens. As a developer, you can deploy your own smart contracts on the Ethereum network
There you have it! You should now have a basic understanding of Ethereum and its related technologies.
If you have any questions post them below. Or, better yet, download the Toshi app and message us directly with @cryptoasia and @samuel. Toshi is a messaging app as well as an Ethereum wallet for quick and easy transfers. We highly recommend it.