Bitcoin was the first successful attempt to create an electronic cash system in a fully peer-to-peer environment. It uses a distributed digital ledger to store the transactions carried out by its users, called a blockchain, and a consensus mechanism named proof-of-work to ensure the integrity and uniqueness of the network.

Due to the fact that Bitcoin relies heavily on cryptography to ensure network security, its is considered a . Contrary to what many believe, however, all data recorded on the blockchain is public and transparent. Encryption ensures data integrity, but does not turn it into ciphertext.

One of the most important features of Bitcoin is the fact that it is an open-source project, which means that anyone can freely copy, modify and use the available code. In 2011, just two years after the emergence of Bitcoin, Charlie Lee, an American programmer, created Litecoin, a slightly modified version of Bitcoin.

Over time, new coins have appeared. Such alternative currencies are commonly called altcoins, and use the same technology behind Bitcoin. We have already said that the distributed ledger used by such currencies is called blockchain, but it is also common to use the term blockchain for the entire technological apparatus behind Bitcoin and altcoins. That is why it is also usual to say that Bitcoin and Litecoin are blockchains.

Even though blockchain started out as the technology behind cryptocurrencies, this isn’t its only use case. It is a very secure way of storing data that is resistant to tampering. Thus, it can be used in various scenarios where information integrity is essential, such as supply chain tracking or to prove ownership of a particular .

Over the years, several blockchain-based protocols have been developed, with a lot of improvements.

In 2015, the first major blockchain revolution takes place. Based on the idea by to create a general purpose capable blockchain, Neo and Ethereum were launched as the first blockchains that allows executing .

Neo, also known as the “Chinese Ethereum,” was launched by and . It is a smart contract platform that allows developers to create decentralized applications, DApps for short, on its platform. Unlike Ethereum, which uses its own programming language called Solidity, Neo allows developers to use multiple programming languages, including C#, Java and Python, to build DApps.

The development of blockchains that are capable of executing smart contracts leads to more and more adoption of blockchain technology. Dapps became a way to write applications whose logic is autonomous and guaranteed by the code.

NeoDappsSmart Contracts