What is Ethereum?
Learn more about Ethereum.
In the Ethereum blockchain, there's a single, canonical computer called the Ethereum Virtual Machine, or the EVM, whose state everyone on the Ethereum network agrees on. Everyone who participates in the Ethereum blockchain (nodes) keeps a copy of the current state of this specific computer. Any participant can broadcast and send a request for this computer to perform arbitrary computations. Whenever such a request is sent, other actors in the network can verify, validate and proceed with this specific computation. This specific execution causes a state change in the EVM, which is committed and propagated throughout the network.
Requests for computations in the blockchain are called transaction requests; the record of every transaction and the current state of the EVM are stored on the blockchain, which is also stored and agreed upon by all nodes.
Cryptographic mechanisms ensure that once a transaction has been verified as valid and added to the blockchain, it cannot be altered later. The same mechanism also ensures that all transactions are signed and executed with appropriate permissions, for example, no one should be able to send funds from Witek's account, except for Witek himself.
Ether (ETH) is the main cryptocurrency token of the Ethereum Network. The purpose of ETH is to allow market computations; this market provides an economic incentive to participants to verify, execute transactions, and provide computational resources to the network.
Any participant in the blockchain who is broadcasting a transaction must also provide an amount of ETH to the network. This amount will be awarded to the actor who's verifying this transaction, executing it, and broadcasting it to the network.
The amount of ETH paid while performing a transaction in the blockchain is equivalent to the time required to perform the computation in the blockchain. These ETH bounties also prevent malicious actors from flooding the network by requesting the execution of infinite computations or other scripts as these participants must pay for the computation time.
As a basic example, smart contracts work like sale scripts; when called with specific parameters, they can perform specific actions attached to that smart contract should pre-existing conditions be fulfilled. For example, a sales smart contract could mint and assign the ownership of a digital asset if the caller sends ETH to a specific recipient.
Any developer can create and deploy a smart contract that would be public to the network. With the Enjin Platform, there is no need to deploy developer smart contracts to create and mint NFTs as this is going to be handled by interactions between the dev wallet and Enjin's ERC-1155 smart contract.
For more information on the Ethereum blockchain, we would also recommend reaching out to the Ethereum foundation docs on this link here.